(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The life and adventures of Valentine Vox, the ventriloquist"

Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



• ^'l 



4o. 



is^. 




VALENTINE VOX. 






. ^,;c-ji\\rcocKroA: 




KtjUCIST T\'.\.S,rAT^:<i>OS1 KK HOW. 



THE 



LIFE AND ADVENTURES 



OP 



VALENTINE VOX, 



THE VENTRILOQUIST. 



BY HENRY COCKTON. 



VN^MK^W^^'^^MM^^AM^^ 



VNI JBQUnS YIRTUTI. 



^^^^^»V»^^^*^^A^^^ 



LONDON: 
ROBERT TYAS, 8, PATERNOSTER ROW. 



MDCCCXL. 



fS3 



LONDON : 
PRINTBI) BT STEWART AND MUBRAT; OLD BAILBT. 



PREFACE. 



** The power of an accomplished Ventriloquist is well known to 
be unlimited. There is no scene in life in which that power is 
incapable of being developed : it gives its possessor a command 
over the actions, the feelings, the passions of men, while its 
eflSicacy in loading with ridicule every prejudice and every project 
of which the tendency is pernicious cannot fail to be 'perceived at 
a glance. The design of this work although essentially humorous, 
is not, however, to excite peals of laughter alone : it has a far 
higher object in view, namely, that of removing social absurdities 
and abuses by means the most peculiarly attractive and pleasing.'^ 

This formed the prospectus of Valbntixe Vox ; and that the 
design has been to a considerable extent satisfactorily carried 
out, the popularity which the work has acquired in the course of 
its publication in monthly parts may be held to be some proof. 

There is, however, one monstrous system, the pernicious, the 
dreadful operation of which has been, if not vividly, truthfully 
portrayed, — a system teeming with secret cruelties and horrors — 
I mean the system of private Lunatic Asylums — to which it will 
be needful for me here to refer, lest the scenes which have been 
described be considered too terrible either to occur in the present 



k 



day, or to have indeed any foundation in (act. I will mention 
no particular case, I will allude to no particular asylum ; I wUl 
go at once to the system under which men — sane men — can 
at any time be seized, gagged, manacled, and placed beyond 
the pale of the constitution, within the walla of an asylum, 
there to be incarcerated for bfe, with no society save that of poor 
idiots and raving maniacs, shut out for ever from the world as 
comjiletuly as if they were not in existence, without the power of 
communicating with a single friend, or of receiving from a single 
friend the slightest communication. 

The Act by which Private Asylums are governed, viz. the 
9 Geo. 4. cap. 41. — is intituled. An Act to regulate the Care 
and Treatment of Insane Persons in England ; but were it called 
An Act to facilitate the perpetual imprisonment of perfectly sane 
persons, with the view of promoting the unhallowed designs of 
the sordid and the malicious, its effect would be better declared : 
for it is an Act, essentially an Act, for the promotion of such 
objects as those which avarice and malignity may, under certain 
circumstances, prompt, seeing that under it fethers may be incar- 
cerated by sons, and sons by fathers : sisters by brothers, and 
brothers by sisters: children by parents ; wives by husbands, and 
husbands by wives, when the object proposed is either adultery, 
the dishonest possession of property, the prevention of what are 
termed imprudent matches, or the foul gratification of revenge. 

The personal liberty of no man is safe. Any one may in 
a moment be st'ized, manacled, and beaten into a state of 
insciiflibiljty, iiii'l carried away, without the power of appealing 
' r :iiLv iriiiuLi.it, without the most remote prospect of being even 
■aIi'.^- 1.1 Iri iiri) irieod know where he is. He is gone : completely 



w 



PRBFACB. . VU 

loat to the world : those who were dear to him are led to believe 
that he is dead^ and dead he is to society for ever. All that is 
required to authorise the perpetual imprisonment of a man under 
the Act is a certificate signed by two medical practitioners, — who 
may be either physicians, surgeons, or apothecaries, they are not 
at all particular under the Act,— or one will do, if two cannot at the 
time be conveniently procured, should any " special circumstance 
exist,'' and any thing may be called a special circumstance — the 
signature of one apothecary — ^no matter how young, how inex- 
perienced, or how ignorant he may be — is sufficient to consign 
either a man, woman, or child to a Lunatic Asylum for life. 

During the progress of this work I have been apprehensive 
that my statements on this point might be deemed exaggera- 
tions ; it is hence that I embrace this opportunity of showing 
that in illustrating this terrible subject, I have neither departed 
from facts nor exaggerated those facts in the smallest degree. 

By the thirtieth section of the Act to which 1 have alluded, 
it IS provided, '^That every certificate upon which any order 
shall be given for the confinement of any person (not a parish 
patient) in a house kept for the reception of two or more in- 
sane persons, shall be signed by two medical practitioners, 
each of them being a physician, surgeon, or apothecary, who 
shall have separately visited and personalty examine^d the patient 
to whom it relates; and such certificate shall state that such 
insane person is a proper person to be confined, and the day on 
which he or she shall have been so examined; and also the 
christian and surname and place of abode of the person by whose 
direction or authority such person is examined, and the degree 
of relationship or other circumstance of connection between such 



Vlll PRBFACB. 

person and the insane person ; and the name, age, place of re- 
sidence, former occupation, and the asylum, if any, in which 
such patient shall have been confined ; and whether such person 
shall have been found lunatic or of unsound mind under a com- 
mission issued for that purpose by the Lord Chancellor, or Lord 
Keeper or Commissioner of the Oreat Seal intrusted as afore* 
said ; and every such certificate for the confinement of any]^per» 
son in a house hcensed under this Act within the jurisdiction of 
the said visitors shall, if the same be not signed by two medical 
practitioners, state the special circumstances, if any, which shall 
have prevented the patient being separately visited by two medi- 
cal practitioners; and any patient may be admitted into any 
such licensed house upon the certificate of one medical practi- 
tioner only, under the special circumstances aforesaid, provided 
such certificate shall be further signed by some other medical 
practitioner within seven days next after the admission of such 
patient into any such licensed house as aforesaid ; and any per- 
son who shall, knowingly and with intention to deceive, sign any 
such certificate, untruly setting forth any such particulars re- 
quired by this Act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor ; 
nevertheless, if any special circumstance shall exist which may 
prevent the insertion of any of the particulars aforesaid, the same 
shall be specially stated in such certificate: provided always, 
that no physician, surgeon, or apothecary shall sign any certifi- 
cate of admission to any house of reception for two or more 
insane persons, of which he is wholly or partly the proprietor, or 
the regular professional attendant ; and any physician, suigeon, 
or apothecary, who shall sign or give any such certificate, with- 
out having visited and personally examined the individual to 
wfac«n it relates, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misde- 
meanor/' 



PBBFAGB. IX 

What then is it necessary for a bad man to do whose object 
is to incarcerate any relative or friend whom he is anxious to put 
out of the way for ever? He has but to bribe a disreputable 
apothecary — and, unhappily, there are many in the profession 
who, for the fee of a guinea, have signed, and who are ready 
again to sign away the liberty of any man, pleading to their own 
consciences, perhaps, like Shakspeare's apothecary, that their 
poverty, and not their will, consents — ^be has but to bribe one of 
these men to certify that the victim is insane — or if he knows 
not oDC of these, he need but excite his victim, and call in any 
other medical man^to see him, while in a state of excitement, 
and to declare as a '' special circumstance/' that he has just been 
attempting to commit suicide, or to do himself some grievous 
mischief, when the very energy with which be wiU deny the 
imputation, will tend to convince him who has been summaned 
expressly to see a madman, that he is mad — ^and when the cer- 
tificate is signed, the proprietor of an asylum has but to be ap- 
plied to, when keepers will be dispatched to secure the victim, 
and the facility with which a second signature can be obtained 
in such a case is ]»overhiaL 

In Acts of Parliament penalties look very well, and appear 
prima facie to be very efficient : thus in this Act it seems to be 
a security against maljH'actices, that, ^* any person who shall 
knowingly, and with intention to deceive, sign any such certifi-- 
cate untruly settmg forth any such particulars required by this 
Act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor ;" but how is 
the guilt of such person to be proved ? These things are done 
in secret ; the victim is doomed, seized, hurried away, and coor 
fined, without having the power to offer a particle of proof or a 
moment's opportunity of aj^aling against this demsion, which 



X PBBFACB. 

18 rendered thereby final. But if even he should have such an 
opportunity — if by a miracle he should escape — how can he 
prove the misdemeanor ? The medical man who possesses this 
monstrous power is licensed to act upon his judgment : he pleads 
that to the best of his judgment the man was insane : he is thereby 
protected. That license indemnifies him ; his signature indem- 
nifies the man who employed him, and that man's authority 
indemnifies the proprietor of the asylum in which the victim is 
confined : and this too in a country whose free institutions form 
its proudest boast — in England, the centre, the very heart of 
civilization. ^ 

Look at the position of the proprietor of a private Lunatic 
Asylum. It is with him a pecuniary speculation. He may be 
an honourable man — ^he may be — but look at the temptations 
to dishonour with which the system is pregnant. His object is 
to obtain as many patients as he can, and to keep those patients 
as long as he can : his manifest duty is therefore diametrically 
opposed to his interest, and when it is so, experience proves it 
to be unsafe, to say the least of it, to give a man impunity, and 
trust to his honour. It is his duty, when he finds that a patient 
is sane, to restore him to society : his interest prompts him to 
keep that patient, because the sum which he receives, either 
weekly or quarterly, from the person at whose instance that 
patient has been confined, of course ceases to be paid on his 
being discharged. It is his duty, when the commissioners visit 
the asylum, to ^ve every patient a fair opportunity of proving 
that he is of sound mind : his interest prompts him not only to 
misrepresent the actions of every sane patient, but to excite him 
by administering drugs or otherwise, in order that he may 
appear to the commissioners to be insane. So also is it his 



PRBFACfi. Xt 

datyi when his patients are really insane^ to do all in his power 
to cure them, while it is to his interest to keep them till death, 
by repudiating those means by which a cure might be effected. 
As far, therefore, as insane persons are concerned, the system 
of private asylums is pernicious, for interest will govern the 
actions of men in the aggregate ; it will trample down duty, it 
will be in the ascendant ; but looking at the operation of that 
systeai upon persons who are absolutely sane, it is monstrous 
that a power should exist which places every man in a position 
to be deprived of liberty for life, for the pure gratification of 
private avarice or revenge. 

As far as regards the statement that men can be incarcerated 
for life without any friend or relative disposed to assist them 
having the slightest knowledge of where they are, it may be 
urged that on application being made to the commissioners such 
knowledge may be obtained ; and so in ordinary cases it may ; 
but when a man is mbsing, who ever dreams of applying to these 
commissioners ? Hb friends in such a case are apt to suppose 
him to have committed suicide or to have been murdered : in 
scarcely one case out of a thousand would they suppose him to 
have been stolen from society and confined as a lunatic. But 
if even they do suspect this to be the case, what security does the 
Act afford against his perpetual imprisonment? What power 
does it impart to his friends to aid him ? By the thirty-fourth 
section it is enacted, '* That if any person shall apply to one of 
the commissioners, or any justice of the peace of the county in 
which any house of reception for two or more insane persons is 
8itiiate» in order to be informed whether any particular person is 
confined in any of the said houses of reception for two or more 
insane persons, and the said commissioner or justice shall think it 



reasonable to permit each inquiry to be made, and shall sign an 
order directed to the clerk of the commissioners or clerk of the 
visitors for that purpose, the said clerk of the commissioners or 
derk of the visitors is hereby required, upon the receipt of such 
order, to make search ; and if it shall appear upon search that the 
person so inquired after is or has been confined in any of the said 
bouses, the said clerk of the commissioners or clerk of the 
visitors shall immediately deliver to the person so applying, 
in writing, the name of the keeper in whose house the person 
so inquired after is or has been confined, the situation of such 
house, and a copy of the order and certificate upon which such 
person was received into such house, upon payment of the sum of 
seven shilUngs, and no more, for his trouble." 

Well : he obtains this information — ^provided the asylum in 
which he is confined be within the jurisdiction of the com* 
missioners, that is to say, within seven miles of London — ^he 
ascertains where his friend is, and what then can he do ? He 
cannot see him> he cannot visit him : no man is permitted to 
enter an asylum save the commissioners and the persons by 
whose authority the inmates have been confined. 

But assuming that he has the means at his command of ren- 
dering it ** inexpedient," notwithstanding the certificate, for the 
vile party to detain his friend any longer in that asylum, what 
need that party do in order to make all sure ? Why he need 
but remove him firom the asylum within the jurisdiction of the 
commissioners to an asylum beyond the jurisdiction of the com* 
missioners : that is to say, he need but send him to some country 
asylum, and if he send him there in another name, there is no 
power on earth to discover where he is. 



PRBFACB. XIU 

In muQ the ticCim may declare that the name in which he it 
entered is not his right name — that it is for instance Roberts, 
when he is entered as Jones — the veiy tenacity with which he 
adheres to his right name, will be held to be an additional proof 
of his delusion : he cannot be considered then otherwise than 
mad, and thus is he lost to the world for e?er. 

It must not be supposed, because cases of this kind are seldom 
brought to light, that they seldom occur: the secrecy in which 
everything connected with a Private Asylum is involved, renders 
frequent exposition of individual cases impossible; but if even 
they occurred less frequently than they do, the fact would not 
diminish the enormity of the system ; it is enormous that in a 
country like this, it should be possible for a case of the kind to 
occur at all: but the facility with which it can be done is 
amazing. 

In France, before the incarceration or interdiction of a person 
assumed to be of unsound mind can take place, there must be a 
conseil de famiUe, and subsequently the decree of a tribunal, 
before which — when three physicians appointed by the tribunal 
have examined the patient — he appears, and his acts of insanity 
are proved. And thus ought it to be in England. Instead of drag- 
ging a man to perpetual imprisonment, by virtue of the purchased 
signature of an apothecary, he ought, before he is permanently 
confined, to be publicly proved to be insane. It is in tlie last 
degree disgraceful to this country, that men can be for ever 
shut out from the world, and from all communication with the 
world, without having at least undergone some public examination. 

With respect to the treatment experienced by patieqts in these 



XIV PREFACE. 

Private Asylums^ I need only refer to the published Reports of the 
various Committees of the House of Commons for proved cases of 
the most frightful cruelty ; but as the cause of those who are 
afflicted or who are assumed to be afflicted with this the most dire 
calamity which can be&l man, has never been made a party ques- 
tion, why of counsel no step has been taken to put an end to such 
brutalities, and the system continues in full operation still. It is, 
however, to be hoped that philanthropy and faction may, with 
a view to the removal of this blot upon civilization, be conjoined, 
or that faction alone may take the matter in hand ; for while 
faction, without the aid of philanthropy, can thunder forth its 
fierce denunciations with amazing effect, philanthropy, I fear, 
unsupported by faction, has there but a still small voice. 

I have been induced thus to dwell upon this terrible subject 
by the conviction of its being one of great importance ; and if, 
in these hastily written pages, the dreadful system shall have been 
sufficiently illustrated to induce the legislature to take it into 
serious consideration, it must of necessity be the means of effect- 
ing a revision, and of thereby accomplishing one of the highest 
objects proposed by 

The Author. 



CONTENTS. 



**-^-^- * » | ■ * """"n r u-inrui 



PHft 

Chap. I.— The birth and edncatum of Ttlentme, with the parental peeuliari- 

tiea and premature death of hia immediate ancestor . .1 

Chap. II.^-The geniua and characteristic honour of a great magician : Valen- 
tine inspires the spirit of his art • .4 

Chap. m.^-Valentine makes rapid progress. His first grand public display. 
Strijdng derelopment of political injnstioe. A sanguinary local 
rebellion snbdned .•«•••• 9 

Chap. !▼« — Maternal solidtode. Great-nnde John in oontnlrions. The 

chastity of a maiden impugned « • .17 

Chap. T. — Explains how Valentine started for London ; how entertuniog tra- 
velling companions can be ; how a valiant blacksmith can be a dead 
shot ; how firm may be the fiuth of a coachman in witchcraft ; and 
how it is posnble for a journey to be protracted . • .21 

Chap. VI. — Pecoliar liberality of the gentleman in black. — ^The green-eyed 
monster prevents the performance of a most disinterested act of 
friendship •.....•• 33 

Chap. VII^— Introduces great-nnde John's friend and his affectionate rela- 
tives, with a knight of a new order, two inyisible bniglars, and one 
most remarkable rfweep • .38 

Chap. VIII. — ^The consultation of an interesting fiunily party, at whidi it is 

decided that something must be done . .47 

Chap. IX. — Valentine's Tisit to the House of Commons .50 

Chap. X. — ^In which Goodman is honoured with a peculiar visit, and subse- 

q;uently seized in the most mysterious manner possible . 61 

Chap. XL — ^The mysterious seizure— a gentleman drowned in invagination — 

first appearance of Valentine upon the stage of the Italian Opera . €5 

Chap. XII. — ^Valentine's trip to Gravesend . • • .84 

Chap. XIII.«— In which Valentine is introduced to three new friends, with 

one of whom he passes a Tcry pleasant night • • • 97 



XVI CONTENTS. 

Pttge 
Chap. XIV.— Goodmaa b conducted to his new residenoe— the liberty of the 

subject illostnited — the commencement of an exposition of a system 

which cannot be generally known ..... 107 

Chap. XV. — ^Valentine Tisits the British Museum — ^imparts breath to Mem- 

non and raises a Toice from the tomb . .112 

Chap. XVI. — ^The sale of G«odman*s property by Walter, and the extraordi- 
nary stoppage thereof by Valentine . . .121 

Chap. XVII. — ^Valentine yisits Guildhall — Becomes acquainted with those 
ancient and respectable warriors, Gog and Magog, to whom he 
imparts speech pro tem., and then proceeds to discuss matters of 
personal importance with the eloquent members of the Court of 
Common Council ....... 129 

CflAP. XVIII. — Shows what a conscience Goodman's brother had • • 140 

Chap. XIX. — The widow's victim . .... 146 

Chap. XX.-— Contains a bird's-«ye view of Goodman's unenviable position . 152 

Chap. XXI. — ^The equalrightites' mighty demonstration • » . 155 

Chap. XXII.— In which Horace sets-to with the ghost of Goodman, and 

Walter burns the spectre out . • • . • 161 

Chap. XXIII. — Valentine attends a phrenological lecture, and inspires a 

murderer's skull with indignation .... 165 

Chap. XXIV. — Brings the reader back to Goodman, who boldly conceives a 

particular plan, the execution of which is unavoidably postponed 172 

Chap. XXV.— Valentine visits the Victuallers' fancy fair . .177 

Chap. XXVI. — In which Valentine visits the London docks, and most repre- 

hensibly induces a wicked waste of wine •« . . • 193 

Chap. XXVII. — Valentine becomes acquainted with a frightful calamity, and 

has a heart-rending interview on the subject with Horace . 208 

Chap. XXVIII. — ^The masquerade at Vauxhall . . . • 213 

Chap. XXIX.-^In which Valentine has the pleasure of meeting two persons 
in whom he takes gf eat interest, and whom he accompanies to a 
wax-work exhibition ..••.. 225 

Chap. XXX. — Goodman matures his plan of escape. The commissioners 
arrive. He prepares to convince them of his absolute sanity, and 
is goaded on to madness. He recovers ; and having reorganized 
his fbrees, resolutely makes the attadc .... 232 

Chap. XXXI.— Uncle John announces his intention of running up to town, 
and Valentine visits a wealthy individual, to whom he fcils to impart 
much pleMnre • • ' . . 242 

Cjhap. XXXII.— The first coBMrt given by the Battre talent association . 257 



CONTENTS. Xvii 



Chap. XXXIII.— In wbich Walter and hia amiable family have a highly cha- 

raeteriatic conTenation on the aabject of Goodman's release . 264 

Chap. XXXTVd — ^Uncle John arrlTes in town, and nith Valentine attends the 

dvie pageant and feait ••...• 268 

Chap. XXXV^— Valentine reooren the highly valned card, and proceeds nith 

Unde John to the exhibition of fat cattle . .289 

Chap. XXXVI.— The mutual recognition and the intierview— The polite inTi- 

tation, and the dinner • • • . • . 296 

Chap. XXXVII.— Shows how Unde John and Valentine managed to ascertain 
that Goodman was confined as a hinatic, and how they also managed 
to introdnoe themsdres bodily into the Asylum • • • 307 

Chap. XXXVIII.— A fordble ezpnldony and a totally nnexpeoted escape • 321 

Chap. XXXIX. — ^Vdentine becomes initiated into the mysteries of the anti- 

kgd-marriage association • . • . . 328 

Chap. XL. — Unde John has another important intenriew with Wdter, to 

whom he declares his intentions with force and effect • • 333 

Crap. XLI. — ^Valentine becomes a little better acqoainted widi the [character 

of Louise, of whom he takes his first lesson • • 342 

Chap. XLII. — In which Goodman is liberated from the Lunatic Asylum . 353 

Chap. XLIII.— Contains an account of a breach of the prinleges of tiie Com- 
mons' House of Parliament ..... 361 

Chap. XLTV. — Shows what curious creatures ladies in love may appear . 369 

Chap. XLV. — Vdentine Tisits the Zoologicd Gardens • . 376 

Chap. XLVI. — Wherein Whitdy explains the red cause of all his misery . 383 

Chap. XLVII. — Shows how Valentine tried an experiment in the House of 

Lords and fiuled ....... 389 

Chap. XLVIII.— Returns to Wdter and his amiable famUy, whose position 

becomes quite alarming ...... 394 

Chap. XLIX. — Goodman holds aoonlultation with his firiends, at which Unde 

John finds his judgment fettered ..... 401 

Chap. L.— Explains the possibility of making a man dig an extraordinary hole 405 

Chap. U. — ^In which Valentine argues a point in opposition to the Tiews of 

many thousands ....... 420 

Chap. LII. — ^Valentine at Greenwich fair .... .425 

Chap. LIU. — ^In which a certain interesting question is proposed . 441 

Chap. LTV.— Valentine Tidts the Royd Academy, and Rayen astonishes the 

fiMSoUkt of Unda John .462 

b 



t 



XVIU 



CONTENTS. 



Pag« 
Chap. LV. — The day is named. — Echo insist upon fonning an alliance with 

Llewellen ........ 465 

CfiAP. LVI. — ^The preparations for the marriage. — A surprise . .470 

Chap. LVII. — Explaining various matters touching the ill*timed recognition 481 

Chap. LVIII.— The interview of Uncle John and Whitely with Mr. Writall, 
an attomey^t-law ..... 



Chap. LIX. — In which Valentine proves a good moral physician 

Chap. LX. — Valentine visits Ascot races 

Chap. LXI. — Describes several interviews, but more particularly one 
Writall and Raven .... 

Chap. LXII. — Explains a variety of matters of importance to the 
concerned ...... 

Chap. LXIII.— Goodman quits the scene for ever 

Chap. LXIV. — Horace announces the fact to Walter . 

Chap. LXV. — In which the day is fixed again 

Chap. LXVI. — In which another important secret is revealed 

Chap. LXVII. — In which a variety of matters are explained . 

Chap. LXVIII. — In which the history draws to a conclusion 



. 491 

. 496 

. 500 

between 

. 517 



parties 



. 528 
. 545 
. 547 
. 552 
. 566 
. 577 
. 603 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



t^MWM^WN^ta 



The Fkmily Party Fnmtiipieee. 

Valentine recognises Horace Viffnette. 

A local rcbclHon subdued to face page 19 

Unde John in eztacies 21 

A mad Dog turning out a March Hare 28 

Beefsteaks and Onions for Nine 35 

The invisible Burglars about to be ejected 44 

An extraordinary Seizure • 55 

The Signal for Starting 7I 

Preparing for a burst 73 

Valentine in a new character 93 

Persecution of Beagle IO4 

"How»s your Mother?" 116 

Children of Israel at fault X26 

The fidl of the cine sovereign 132 

The Challenge I49 

Goodman's first Lesson I54 

Horace having a set-to with the Ghost 151 

A new feature in Phrenology 172 

Valentine at the Fancy Fair 190 

The Head driven in to look after the Voice 206 

Horace enraged at the girl's ingratitude 211 

Valentine protects the Earl's victim 221 

Valentme making a pseudo-wax impression * . 227 

Goodman goaded to madness 235 

The Miser convicted 253 

The mysterious symphony 260 

The Family Discussion 265 

The Civic Pageant • • . , 277 

False alarm at the Cattle Show 295 

The Toast 303 

Uncle John*s introduction to the Lunatic Asylum 320 

Valentine and Unde John's treatment in the Asylum 322 



XX ILLUSTRATIONS. 

The Anti-Legal Mcrriige ABsocUtion to face page 330 

The LeBson interrupted 345 

Dr. Hddem displays all the pugilistic Science he knows .... 357 

The Sheriffs' Leree 365 

Valentine amased at the ardent passion of Lonise 375 

iEsop eclipsed 380 

The rencontre 387 

Message from the Commona 392 

Horace derelopes his filial affection 398 

The groan nndergronnd 411 

The revel of Greenwich Hill 435 

The Plropoaal 447 

Valentine at the Royal Academy •* j;" 453 

Hie Recognition 480 

Valentine endeavours to console Louise 497 \ 

Valentine at Ascot 505 ) 

The introduction to Mr. Writall 493 ^ 

The Garden perplexed 513 

Mr. Todd attracts Valentine's attention . 530 ] 

Writall offers to treat Unde John with a Uttibe Law 526'' 

The Death of Goodman 547 

Joaeph divulges the Secret 576 

The effects of the Diring^Bell 562 -- 

Hie Roasting of Joseph 586 

Whitely gives his consent 599 

The end of Walter 602 

The Departure 607 



THE 

LIFE AND AD,VENTURES 

OF 

VALENTINE VOX, 

THE VENTRILOQUIST. 



CHAPTER I. 

THB BIBTH AND EDUCATION OP VALBNTINE, WITH THE PARlSfTAL 
PBCUUAaiTIES AMD PREMATURE DEATH OF HIB IMMEDIATE AN- 



In one of the most ancient and populous boroughs in the county of 
Suffolk, there resided a senius named Jonathan Vox, who, in order to 
make a fortune with rapidity, tried everything, but fiiiled to succeed in 
anything because he could stick long to nothing. 

At the age of fiye-and-twoity, this gentleman, who was held to be a 
highly respectable christian in consequence of his regular attendance at 
diurch twice every sabbath day, became enamoured of the expectations 
of Miss Penelope Long, a young lady who had an uncle supposed to 
have made a mint of money somehow, and an aunt who was believed 
to have another mint somewhere. 

To the best of Miss Penelope's belief she had not another relative in 
the worid, and as this belief was singularly enough imparted to Jona- 
than, he at once became inspired with the conviction that he could 
not convemently do better than secure Miss Penelope, seeing that, if 
even he were not made wealthy at once, there was wealth in the fEunOy, 
which must at some period or other be his, as neither uncles nor aunts, 
though they live much too long for the convenienoe of many, are im- 
mortaL 

Accordingly Jonathan embraced the very earliest opportunity of as- 
sailing Miss Penelope's heart, and this he managed to do with consider- 
able comfort to himself^ and with no inconsiderable satisfection to the 
lady ; for while on the one hand Jonathan had been cast in an insinuat- 
ing mould, on the other, he and Penelope were of the s^-same ^* order," 
a cueumstance, which in a town where the eighteenpenny people cannot 
associate with the shilling individuals, without being regularly cut dead 
by the half-crowners, cleuly renders the first advances in matters of this 
description peculiarly agreeable. 



2 LIFE AKD ADVENTURES OF 

Jonathan, therefore, at once manfully commenced the attack with an 
original remark, having reference to the weather ; hut as he found this 
a somewhat barren topic, for a man cannot well keep on talking about 
the weather, and the weather only, for many hours in succession, he 
adroitly changed it to that of the eloquence of the minister of St. James's 
— a subject with which they were both of course perfectly conversant, 
and which lasted them, with sundry affectionate interpolations, until 
prudence compelled them to separate for the night. 

The next evening, by appointment, the attack was renewed, and the 
thing was followed up with appropriate ardour for a period of fifteen 
years, Jonathan being naturally anxious to defer the consummation of 
his happiness as long as he possibly could, i^ expectation of an event 
which might cause both Penelope and himself to sport 'Hhe trappings 
and the suits of woe." At the expiration of this period, however, it 
having been delicately suggested by Penelope, that they had known 
each other long enough to know each other well, the day was fixed, and 
in the presence of uncle John and aunt Eleanor, Jonathan and Penelope 
were united. 

In less than twelve months from this period, Jonathan was gene* 
rously presented with an interesting pledge of affection in the perfect 
similitude of a son. The presentation of course, made his heart glad. 
He kissed his heir, sang to him, danced him on his knee, and would 
inevitably have killed him, but for the timely interposition of the 
nurse, who insisted upon taking the child away just as Jonathan was 
urging him to drink his pa's health in a glass of hot brandy and water« 

Now Jonathan, as we have stated, could never, in pecuniary matters, 
get on, — a circumstance which was not attributable solely to his ina- 
bility to adhere for any length of time to any one pursuit, but also to 
the fact that, with all his ardent love of independence — vrith all his 
eager anxiety to realize a rapid and a splendid fortune, he was exceed- 
ingly improvident, and had a really great contempt for all small sums 
of money. He was not a man capable of being prevailed upon exactly 
to ram a twenty-pound note down his gun if he wanted wadding, but 
he would lend twenty-pounds at any time, without the most remote 
prospect of its ever being returned, or accept a bill of exchange for thai 
or any other amount without a chance of its being honoured by the 
drawer. This kept him perpetually poor. The more money he got, 
the more he thus got rid of: indeed he was always in debt, and that 
always in proportion to the amount of his income. 

Uncle John knowing this to be one of the chief characteristics of 
Jonathan, and conceiving it to be high time to convince him of the pro- 
priety of acting with less improvidence in future, sought immediately 
after the christening of his heir, who at the instance or Aunt Eleanor, 
was named Valentine — to impress upon his mind the expediency of 
reforming. Of course Jonathan saw the force of the suggestion in a 
moment. He promised to reform; and he did reform. lie was in- 
exorable for a month. He would not lend a shilling ; nor would he 
accept a bill to accommodate any man. He had a family, and in justice 
to that family he could not consent to do it. At the expiration of the 



TALENTINB TOX. 3 

month, however, his resolution vanished. He was induced by a friend 
to do that which he had often done before, but which he had promised 
Uncle John that he would never do again, and when the time came for 
honouring the instrument, neither he nor his friend could make up the 
amount, and the consequence was that he was immediately arrested. 

Valentine was of course then too young to be actively engaged in 
promoting the release of the author of his being ; but it is notwith- 
standing a fact, that he caused him to be released, seeing that through 
him, and through him alone, Uncle John paid the bill, and thus set 
him at liberty. This event had a salutary effect upon Jonathan. He 
had no more to do with those dangerous instruments. What he lent 
was lent in specie; he would not lend his name to any man after 
that. 

Now, in obedience to nature's immutable law. Master Valentine 
gradually grew older ; and when he had arrived at the age of nine years, 
he was placed by Uncle John under the care of the iSeverend Henry 
Paul, a gentleman, who b^ng unable with any great degree of comfort 
to support himself, a wife, and seven children upon the 50/. a-year 
which he derived from his curacy, took a limited number of pupils, that 
is to say, of course, as many as he could get, at twelve guineas per 
annum, and no extras. 

The academy of Mr. Paul was in the immediate vicinity of New- 
market, and Mr. Paul himself was an extremely benevolent and virtuous 
man* He would shrink from even the semblance of a dishonourable 
action, and would, rather than be guilty of one, no matter how venial 
in the eye of the world it might be, live glorying in the rectitude of his 
conduct, on starvation's brink. His father had been an eminent mer- 
chant, and so snccessful in the early part of his career, that he had at 
one time realised a fortune of at least 200,000/. He did not, however, 
rdinquish business. Determined to do all in his power for his son, who 
after having received a sound preparatory education, was sent to Cam- 
bridge, he continued to pursue his old course of amassing wealth with 
as much zeal and energy as if he had been labouring to procure the 
bare means of existence. The year, however, in which his son left 
Cambridge, was a disastrous year to him. A series of unsuccessful 
^peculations completely ruined him. He not only lost every guinea he 
possessed, but was plunged into debt so deeply, that extrication was 
impossibler He therefore became a bankrupt, and in the room in 
which his creditors met for the first time, the consciousness of his posi- 
tion overpowered him, and he died of a broken heart. 

Mr. Henry Paul was thus thrown at once upon the world without a 
shilling, and without a friend. He had neglected to make friends while 
at college, by being subservient to mere rank, with a view to patronage, 
and had therefore no prospect of promotion. For some considerable 
time he was literally starving ; but he at length obtained a curacy, and 
soon after became enamour^ of an accomplished young creature, who 
was a governess in the rectors &mily, and just as poor as himself, 
whom he married, and thus in a pecuniary point of view Iscaled the fate 
of both for ever. 



4 LTFE AND ADVENTUBB8 OF 

From such a man YaloDtine need not turve expected seYerity, alMt 
lie bad a lively apprehension of it at first. Mr. Panl regarded lua 
pupils with the most considerate tenderness. Had they been his own 
children his treatment of them could not have been marked with more 
affection. His chief anxiety was to impart to them a knowledffe of 
the right course, and a full appreciation of the advantages of whidi its 
pursuit is productive. His censure was embodied in his praise of 
others ; his only punishment consisted in withholding reward. 

When Valentine had been at this academy five yeaxs, during which 
time he had made very considerable prcmess, his father, while trying 
some nautical experiment in a narzow-bellied water-butt, pitched, to 
the unspeakable mortification of an extensive circle of fHends, head- 
long to the bottom and was drowned. 

This event was to Valentine a source of deep affliction as a natural 
matter of course ; and he left school in consequence, nominally for a 
month, but in reality never to return, for after the solemn deposit of the 
remains of the departed in the family vault, the afflicted widow, as the 
only means of obtaining the slightest consolation, kept Valentine at 
home. 

His grief, however, speedily vanished. He had everything he widied 
for — ^was petted and spoiled. Uncle John allowed the widow a re- 
spectable annuity, and the widow aUowed Val to do just what he 
pleased. He was usually from home the greater part of the day, either 
shooting, hunting, fishing, driving, bathinff, or cricketing, and aa he 
soon became an adept at almost every active game, he invariably had 
some match or other on hand. 

Thus matters went on for the space of four years, when a circnm* 
stance happened which influenced his conduct through life so materi- 
ally, that had it not occurred, the probability is that his adventures 
would never have been published to the world. 



CHAPTER II. 



THB GENIUS AND CHARACTERISTIC HONOUR OF A GREAT MAGICIAN: 
VALENTINE IN8PIREB THB SPIRIT OF HIS ART. 

When the birth-place of Valentine was visited by Signer Antonio 
Hesperio de Bellamoniac, juggler extraordinary to the King of Naples, 
and teacher of the black art to Gwang Foo Twang, the Grand Emperor 
of China, it was announced that a wonderful e:diibition of the noble 
science of legerdemain, of which the dgnor was for the nonce an Italian 
j^ofessor, would take place in a room at the back of the Bull, an inn 
celebrated for the extreme antiquity of its beer. 

Now the Bull, in consequence of the peculiar celebrity it had acquired, 
was the nightly resort of a select number of townsmen, of whom the 
chief in the estimation of the company was a Mr. Timottieas ironsidesi 



TAUSMmfE vox. $ 

tiie leportor snd sob-editor of ono of the jouniab — a gentleman whom 
the agnor ao delighted the eTening previomily to the wonderful exhibi- 
tion, Siat he Tolnntarily piomiBed to ffive him '^ a lifl^' — ^in conaideaition 
of which promise the signor gave hmi a carte blanche to aend in as 
rnanj friends as he pleased. 

Well, the honr at which the performances were to take place 
amTod, and the signor saw with considerable dismay that he had 
embarked in a most atrocious speculation. There were not more than 
fiTe-and-twenty patrons of art present, of whom seven only paid the 
admission fee; namely, the small chaige of Bd, and therefoxe, aa the 
gross receipts amounted to no more than 1«. 9(/., Signor Antonio Hes- 
perio de Beilamoniac determined on starting the next morning for soma 
place in which genius was moxe highly appreciated, and somewhat more 
libenlly patronised* 

On mentioning this, his Exed determination, after the performance, to 
Mr. Ironsides, that gentleman on the instant pointed out the extreme 
madness of the idea, explained to him that Wednesday was the grand 
market-day, that his paper was published on the Tuesday, that hundreds 
of farmers with their wives and daughters would then be in town, and 
that he was perfectly certain to have an audience crammed to the 
e^ling after the just and impartial criticism he intended to give. To 
thra the s^or listened with somewhere about half a smiley which was 
clearly indicative of the existence of a species of incredulity, which they 
who are in the habit of gulling others, invariably regard those who, as 
they imagine, are desirous of gulling them. He didn't see it exactly. 
He had not the smallest doubt about its being all correct, and he knew 
that he was able to astonish them ; but how were they to be caught ? 
What sort of critique could be written to bring them ? These were the 
questions which the signor regarded, and, very naturally, as of infinite 
importance. 

*'* 111 show you," said Ironsides, ^^ how well proceed : step here, and 
yon shall judge for yourself." 

They acooniingly retiied to a little back parlour, in which they 
remained' somewhat more than two hours concocting a criticism on the 
evenings performance, which certainly was, aocordmg to the signor^s 
own aduowldgement, *^ a regular flamer." 

'^ Now," said the Signor, ^* can you get this in V* 

^* Certsin,^' cried Ironsides^ ^^ my honour V 

^' I don't doubt your honour," said the Signor; '' but have you the 
power?" 

'^ Beyond every species of doubt !" replied the journalist. 

" Good," said the Signor — ^*' good, very ^ood : the justice of it 
pleases. Excellent ffood! Now I'U tell you what 111 do. That there's 
safe to draw 'em — there can't be two opinions about that. Vot say you, 
then : 111 hire the large concert room upon the Market Hill, and you 
shall go r^'lars in the profits." 

**" .^greed!" shouted Ironsides. ^ So certain am I that we shall have 
a good house, that 111 bear half the losses whatever they may be." 

^^ That's precisely the game!" said the Signer—^' Tm delighted!— 



ft LIFE AND ADVBNTURBS OF 

Have you got such a thing as a crowB ? I 'spected some retnittanoes 
this moming, which can't now he hexe before to-morrow." 

^^ With pleasure T cried Ironsides, and the money changed hands in 
an instant. 

" I want to get some bills out," continued the Signer, ^* worry airly in 
the morning." 

^^ Leave all that to me," observed Ironsides, ^' Til undertake to do that. 
I'll have some flamers, my boy, struck off; aye, and posted before you 
are up." 

^^ Good again !" cried the Signer. ^^ You know more about them 
than I do. I'll leave it to you entirely— even as a child will I go by 
thy direction," 

'^ You'll find no nonsense about me," observed Ironsides, rising and 
taking the Signer by the hand — ^* Good night." 

'^ Be stirring with the lark, good Norfolk!" cried the Signer, as the 
journalist made his exit. 

^^Is this to go down to Mr. Ironsides?" anxiously inquired the 
landlord. 

^'Of course !" replied the Signer — ^'of course. Now a light 1'^ In the 
space of three minutes Signer Antonio Hesperio de Bellamoniao — ^whose 
real name, it may perhaps be proper to observe, was John Tod-Haub-> 
mitted to the embrace of Morpheus with all the Christian resignation 
at his command. 

The next morning Mr. Ironsides wrote the placards, and had them 
printed and posted with so much expedition, that before twelve o'clock 
they illumined the town. 

The great magician beheld these flamers with delight, and when in 
ihe evening Ironsides, whose whole soul was centred in the spec, 
brought a paper down to show him the impartial critique, he applauded 
him even to the very echo that did, we have no doubt, applaud again. 
Everything was that night arranged. The room was swept, the chan- 
delier polisned, and the money-taker hired, while the cups, and the ballS| 
and the thimbles, and the swords, were placed in order to the infinite 
satisfaction, not only of Ironsides, but of Signer Antonio Hesperio de 
Bollamoniac himself. 

In due course of time, the market morning arrived, and the town 
was, as usual, at an early hour, thronged. The Signer was inecataoies, 
when he found so many gaily-dressed persons, whose countenances 
seemed to indicate that their possessors were perfectly ready to be 
duped, walking leisurely up and down the principal streets, with their 
mouths wide open, and ready to swallow anyliiinff. He therefore 
employed himself during the day in foing round and round the town 
with the view of witnessing the avidity with which the contents of 
the placards were read, and took especial care ineo^, to impress upon 
each group a mysterious idea of the wonderful exhibition. 

Well, seven o'clock came, and the Signer — sporting a pair of huge 
moustaches which he had purchased for this occasion expressly — ^wrig- 
gled his way through the crowd already assembled. The arrangements 
were admirable. Only one could pass in at a time, and there stood the 



VALENTINE VOX. 7 

magician, ^ho dxew a shilling from each person until the room yrss 
nearly filled, when, with an injunction to suffer no one to pass without 
paying, he surrendered his post to the responsible individual whom 
Ironsides had liberally engaged. 

Now the Signer was what the world would call an exceedingly clever 
fellow. He knew that he was perfectly uneducated, and was conscious 
of the construction of his sentences being anything but strictly gram- 
maticaJ. To conceal this, therefore, on uke one hand, and to inspire the 
audience with the belief of his being, what he represented himself to be, 
an Italian, on the other, he had recourse to a jargon of his own com- 
position — an indiscriminate mixture of Cockney English and Yankee 
French — which never by any chance failed him, for when he happened 
to be ^' at home" he could make himself well understood, and when 
abroad, he had only to resort to his unknown tongue, to render himself 
as mysteriously unintelligible as possible. 

At eight o'clock precisely the curtain went up and discovered the 
great magician enveloped in a horsecloth, which he had borrowed for the 
occasion of the ostler at the Bell, and which was meant to convey 
the idea of a robe. His appearance was singularly imposing, for he had 
tied on a long flowing beard, which, though black, had a peculiarly 
cabalistic and patriarchal effect, while his face — instead of being vul- 
garly daubed with vermillion — ^had been carefully rubbed over with 
whitening, to give him the aspect of one much addicted to study ; and 
lines had been made with the edge of a burnt cork, with the view of. 
indicating the furrows which that study had established. 

As soon as the enthusiasm with which his appearance was hailed had 
subsided, the great magician, with due solemnity, stalked forward and 
addressed his audience briefly as follows : — 

*^ Ladi and Shenteelmongs, I have de honnare to say dis, dat I sail 
go troo warious parformong, and ven I sail svaller him sword town him 
treat, I vas give you vong speciment ob venter et loquer, dat am to say 
speak in him pelly." 

What was understood of this gave great satisfaction ; but what was 
most applauded was that which was most unintelligible. 

The performances then commenced, and the Signer went through a 
Taiiety of old tricks very cleverly. But when he came to his ventri- 
loquism, he completely astounded his audience, for never having heard 
anjrthing like it before, they were in doubt as to whether there was 
not in him something superhuman. He then commenced playing the 
violin ; and although he was an infomous fiddler, he managed to ravish 
his audience by producing a series of the most horrible sounds that ever 
assailed the ears of either man or beast, and thus terminated the won- 
derful performances of the evening. 

Signer Antonio Hesperio de Ballamoniac's next care was, of course, 
to get the money which had been taken at the door during the perform- 
ance, which, added to the sum he himself had received, made the gross 
amount 23/. 155. With this and his implements of jugglery — the 
whole of which were safely deposited in a small cotton han&erchief— 



8 LIFE AVD ADVBNTtlRES OF 

he repaired to hia quartera^ wbere, of course, he was soon joined by his 
partner, the joumaUst. 

*^0h! my dear sir!*' exclaimed the Signer, as Ironsides entered, 
** I'm bound to you for hever." 

^^ Don't mmition it, my boy," cried the jonmaUst. ^^ Yon see I was 
right/' 

*^ That talented notice of youm did the trick,*' observed the Signer, 
*^ that Yos the game !" 

** You have a pretty good haul," observed Ironsides. 

^'Hexoellent !" warmly exclaimed the Signer; * Words cannot hexpresa 
my deep gratitude. Y otll you take ? I mean for to stand a good sup- 
per to night, if I never stand another." 

Accordingly supper was ordered and eaten, and brandy and water 
ad libitum drank, the whole of which was directed by the Siffn<» 
to be put down to the general account, which was accordingly done 
upon Ironside's sole responsibility. 

^^Now," said the Signer, when Ironsides had drank pretty freely, 
^^shall we divide the receipts of this glorious night now, or in the 
morning V 

^' As you please, my dear boy," said the joumaliBt. 

^' WeU, I want to get rid, you know, of some of it," said the Signer, 
*^ but perhaps arter hall it 'ud better be done in the morning?" 

^^ Perhaps it had," hiccoughed the journalist. 

^'Vot time 11 you be down ?" enquired the signer. 

*'Any time you like," replied Ironsides. 

^* Shall we say twelve then?" observed the magician, '^and by that 
time you'll be able to put down all you have paid for bills, and sutterer ; 
and I shall insist upon your having a couple of guineas hextra for that 
critic of' youm in the paper." 

*' Not a copper," cried Ironsides. 

*' But I insist," said the Signer. 

*'So you may — but not a copper — not a cop—." 

** Well I don't of course want to insult you. If you vont^ vy there's 
a hend off the matter. — Come drink." 

But Ironsides could drink no more. He felt that he had already 
drank more than enough, and therefore left his friend and partner with 
the understanding that they were to meet the next morning at twelve. 

The morning came, and the journalist was as punctual as the sun ; 
but Signio Antonio Hesperio de Ballamoniao, was non ett inventui. He 
had not been seen by any one connected with the Bull that morU'^ 
ing. He had in short decamped with the money and his implements, 
without even leaving so much as his card ! Mr, Ironsides had th^e- 
fore to pay for the concert-room, the flamers, the men, and the supper, 
with the collateral expenses incurred at the inn, which the Signer had 
honoured with his patronage — ^the whole of which he paid too in abso- 
lute silence, lest the facts S[ the case should become known, for he held 
it to be utterly inexpedient to be made the perpetual butt of the town. 



TALENTINE VOX. 



CHAPTER III. 

VALENTINE MAKES RAPID PROGRESS. HIS FIRST GRAND PUBLIC DISPLAY. 
6TBIKINO DEVELOPMENT OP POLITICAL INJUSTICE. A SANGUINARY 
LOCAL REBELLION SUBDUED. 

Op all the magician's auditors on the great occasion to which we have 
alluded) Valentine was one of the most attentive, and that portion of 
the petformances which struck him with the greatest force was the 
Signer's display of his power as a ventriloquist. Indeed, so deep an 
impression did it make upon his mind that he firmly resolved to apply 
to the maffician the follovdng day with the view of ascertaining if it 
were possible for him to become a ventriloquist himself. Finding, 
however, that the Signer had so unceremoniously vanished from the 
town, he wx» left entirely to his own resources, and after tijing with 
desperation for several days he discovered, with equal astonishment and 
delight, that he in reality possessed the power of speaking with an 
abdominal intonation, and that zealous cultivation would cause that 
power to be folly developed. 

He accordingly commenced a severe course of training. He rose 
early every morning and practised in the fields, and in doing so, fre- 
quently startled himself for the power that was within him, not being 
quite under control, would occasionally send the sound in one place 
when be fully intended it to have been in another. The consciousness, 
however, of his possessing this extraordinary power urged him to 
persevere, and in less than six months it was entirely at his command. 

He then began to astonish all whom he met. He would caU an 
individual by name, and cause the sound to proceed apparently from 
the opposite side of the street. If ladies were walking before him he 
would instanUy nuse the dreaded cry of ^^ mad dog!" and imitate the 
growlings of the animal in its parox3rsms to perfection. If persons were 
passing an empty house, he would loudly cry •* murder! — thieves I** 
when, if«he could but persuade them to break open the door, he would 
lead them from room to room by imitations of convulsive sobs and 
dying groans, until the house had obtained the reputation of being 
haunted. It enabled him to be revenged upon all who had offended 
him ; and so unscrupulous was he when he had such an object in view 
that he absolutely on one occasion forbad the marriage of a young lady 
by whom he had been insulted, as he imagined, at a dance, by calling 
out in a female voice, when the minister had said, ^^ If any of you know 
any just cause or impediment why these two persons should not be 
joined together in holy matrimony ye are now to declare it." '* / for- 
bid that marriage." 

'^ The person," said the minister on that occasion with due solemnity, 
^ by whom this marriage is forbidden will be pleased to walk into the 
vestiy." 

The eyes of the congregation had immediate employment, but they 
tMrinkled and strained to no purpose. Of course, no person appeared 

c 



10 LIFE AND ADYEIYTURBS OF 

in the vestry ; but the lady whose marriage had been forbidden, and 
whom cruel curiosity had prompted to be present at once fieunted, and 
was instantly carried away by the sexton. 

Valentine's first grand display, however, in public was at a meeting 
convened at the Guildhall, for the purpose of electing a fit and proper 
person to fill the vacancy occasioned by the lamentable death of Mr. 
Faving Commissioner Cobb. Party-feelmg on that occasion ran high; 
and the hall at the appointed hour was crowded to excess by the friends 
of the candidates, who looked at each other as if the laws only prevented 
the perpetration of cannibalism on the spot. 

As the mayor was about to open the important business of the day, 
with the expression of a lively hope that all parties would have a fur 
and impartial hearing, Valentine entered the hall, and having by virtue 
of perseverance, reached the steps of the rostrum from which the electors 
were to be addressed, prepared at once to commence operations. 

The first speaker was Mr. Creedale, an extremely thin gentleman, 
with an elaborately-chiseeled nose, who came forward on the liberal 
side to nominate Mr. Job Stone. 

^' Gentlemen r said Mr. Creedale. 

*^ Nonsense !** cried Valentine, in an assumed voice, of course which 
appeared to proceed from a remote part of the hall. 

^' Gentlemen!" repeated Mr. Creedale, with some additional emphasis. 

'' Pooh, pooh !" exclaimed Valentine, changing the tone. 

*' It may," said Mr. Creedale, ^^ be nonsense, or it may be pooh, pooh ! 
but, gentlemen, I address you as gentlemen, and beg that I may not be 
interrupted." 

^' don't mind Tibbs; go on I" cried Valentine. 

** Oh! Tibbs; indeed !" observed Mr. Creedale, with a contemptuous 
curl of the lip. " It's Mr. Tibbs, is it!" 

*^ No ! no !" cried the accused individual, who was a highly respectable 
grocer, and remarkable for his quiet and unassuming demeanour. 

^* I am surprised at Mr. Tibbs," said Mr. Creedide in continuation — 
'' I have until now regarded him as an individual" — 

^' No, no !" again vociferated Tibbs, ^' It am't me, I am't spoke a 
synnable." 

^' If Mr. Tibbs," observed the mayor, ^' or if any other gentleman be 
desirous of addressing the meeting he wUl have an opportunity of doing 



so anon." 



cc 



Upon my honour!" exclaimed Tibbs, " I've" — 

Here there were general cries of ^' Order, order ! chair!" when Mr. 
Creedale continued :— 

'^ Gentlemen; without adverting to any extraneous matter, it gives me 
unspeakable pleasure to propose — " 

'' A revolutionist !" growled Valentine in a heavy bass voice. 

^^ That's me, I s'pose!" exultingly cried Tibbs, shaking his head and 
giving a most triumphant wink. 

" I know whose voice that is," said Mr. Creedale, " That's the voice 
of the conservative buUy. Yes, that's Mr. Brownrigg." 

*' What!** shouted Brownrigg, in a voice of indignant thunder. 



VALBNTINB VOX. 11 

'' What r echoed Mr. Creedale. 

" Saj it's me agam," shouted Brownrigg, ^^ just only so much as 
say it's me again.' 

^* Mr. Brownrigg," observed the mayor, ^^ will be pleased to conduct 
himself here with propriety." 

*' What do you mean?" exclaimed Brownrigg, " Why fix upon me?" 

^^ That is not the first time," observed Mr. Creedale, ^' that Mr. 
Brownrigg has been here with the view of blustering for the Conserva- 
tives; but it won't — " 

** As true as life !" exckuned Brownrigg, " I never opened my lips. 

Loud cries of *^ Older, oider! Question! Chair, chair !" drowned the 
conclusion of the sentence, however interesting it might have been, and 
Mr. Creedale resumed : — 

^^ As I was about to observe, gentlemen, when disgracefully inter- 
rupted, it gives me great pleasure to propose Mr. Stone as — " 

^^ A Dickey l" screamed Valentine assuming the shrill voice of a 
female—*^ Don't have him ! he's a dickey 1"* 

Here the entire meeting cried ^^ Shame!" and the candidate rose to 
repel the insinuation. 

*^ Officers !" shouted the mayor, ^' instantly turn that depraved 
woroaii out!" 

Hereupon a corps of corporate constables entered with their staves, 
and rushed to the spot from which the sound appeared to proceed ; but 
no woman was discoverable. 

" Whoop !" cried Valentine, throwing his voice to another part of 
the hall : and the officers rushed to that part with the most praiseworthy 
nrocipitation, legally assaulting every elector who stood in their way ; 
out no sooner had Uiey reached the spot proposed than ^^ the depraved 
woman" appeared to be laughing outright in the very body of the 
meeting. Away went the constables, following the sound, and enraged 
beyond measure at their inability to catch her, when in an instant 
another ^^ Whoop !" was heard to proceed from the spot they had just 
quitted. Back went the constables, knocking aside every man whom 
they came near, and thus creating a scene of indescribable confusion. 

^^ Turn her out !" cried the mayor in loud tones of insulted dignity, 
« Turn her out !" 

^^ Blarm me !" cried the Attest of the constables foaming with rage, 
" We can't find her !" 

Again loud laughter was heard, in which at length the entire meeting 
joined on beholding the laudable ardour with which the constables kept 
np the chase. 

" You abandoned creature !" cried the mayor, ** why don't you leave 
the ball T' 

^ Let me alone 1 let me alone !" cried the ^ creature,' *' and 111 be 
quiet* — and inunediately a scream was heard, succeeded by sounds indi- 

* It wiQ probably be necctiary here to observe that io Suffolk a " dickey" is the short 
ibrao 



12 LIFE AND ADTENTURS8 OF 

cative of the ^ creature' being just on the point of fainting. The con- 
stables fancied that they were sure of her then, and therefore made 
another rush; but without more success. At length the mayoif 
exclaimed, '^ Let her be : leave her to her own conscience," when the 
constables with the greatest reluctance withdrew, and oomparativo 
silence was restored. 

Mr. Creedale then resumed: — " A weak invention of the enemy — 
[^No, no ! and loud cheers] — I repeat — " 

'^ You re a fool !" cried Valentine in a singularly gruff tone, on ^duch 
there were again loud cries of " Shame !" and " Order !*' 

'* 111 commit the first man," cried the mayor with a swell of indigna- 
tion, ^' who again interrupts tiiese important proceedings, be he wh<Mn- 
soever he may." 

" You can't, old boy !" cried Valentine. 

'^ Who, who ia that ?" said the mayor — '^ I demand to know instantly 
who it is that dares thus to-—" 

" Dares!'' exclaimed Valentine. 

*' Dares ! aye dares !" cried the mayor. " I'll give five pounds to any 
man who will point out to me that atrocious individual." 

Tlie electors at this moment stared at each other, and all appeared 
lost in amazement. 

The mayor again rose, and assuming a more tranquil tone, said, 
^^ Really, gentlemen, this conduct is perfectly disgraceful. In the course 
of my experience I never met with anything even remotely com- 
parable to — " 

^' Jonathan Sprawl," cried Valentine, ^^ He is the man.*' 

" If," said the mayor, '^ I thought that — but no, no, I am oertun, 
Mr. Sprawl—" 

** I assure you," said Jonathan, *' the interruption did not proceed 
from me, on my honour. He who says that it did is a slanderer and 
no gentleman; and I tell him so openly to his teeth." 

^^ I am satisfied," said the mayor, ^^ quite satisfied, and therefore do 
trust that we shall now be permitted to proceed." 

^' Mr. Creedale, who was still in possession of the chair, again re- 
sumed : — '^ I am not inclined," said he, *•*• to indulge on this occasion in 
anything which may tend to create feelings of irritation ; but I must be 
permitted to say that I am utterly astonished at the conduct of — " 

^' Mr. MaxiU!'' said Valentine, imitating the voice of Mr. Creedale 
the speaker. 

^^ Demme !" cried Maxill, who was a short stumpy man, with a 
remarkably raw-beefy face, '^ I begs to rise to order. Demme ! I claims 
the protection of the cheer, and if so be as Mr, Creedale means for to 
mean as it's me, why, demme, I repels tlie insiniwation — QApplause] — 
I repels the insiniwation, and means for to say this, that all I can say 
is — £Bravo Maxill^ — all I can say is, demme, is this — ^" 

"You're an ass;" cried Valentine, throwing his voice inrmiediately 
behind Mr. Maxill, "hold your tongue!" 

"Within the sphere of the reader's observation, it has in all proba- 
bility occurred, that a man, being in nautical phraseology, three sheets 



TALBNTINE VOX. 13 

in the wind, tad writhing under the tesh of some real or imannary 
infinity has made desperate efforts to reach an opponent throu^ the 
harrier composed of mutnal friends: if so, if the reader should ever 
have heheld an individual in that interesting position, foaming, and 
plunging, and hhistering, and occasionally stnking his dearest friend, 
in his efibrts to get at the enemy, he is qualified to form some concep- 
tion of the scene of which ^4ittle fatty Maxill" was the hero. He 
fsmcied that he had discovered the delinquent. Nothing could shake 
his fiuth in the assumed fact, that an individual named Abraham Bull, 
who happened to be standing at the time in his immediate vicinity, was 
the pereon by whom he had been insulted. He therefore sprang at 
him with all the ferocity at his command ; but being checked by those 
around, who were conscious of Bull*8 perfect innocence, he, bent upon 
vengeance, continued kicking and bullying, and dealing out his blows 
right and left, with tiie most perfect indiscrimination, until the consta- 
bles lifted him clean off his legs, and without any further oeremony rolled 
him into the street. 

The mayor now fondly imagined that this would have the efiect of 
restoring perfect order; he believed that after such an example as that, 
no individual, or body of individuals would dare to ofier the slightest 
interruption to the proceedings of the day ; and having expressed him- 
self quietly to that effect, he bowed and waved his hand to Mr. Cree- 
dale. 

That gentleman accordingly came forward once more and said— 
*^ Gentlemen, it is with unspoikable " 

**Blamey !" cried Videntine. 

'^ Silence!'' exclaimed the Mayor with a melodramatic stamp that 
shook the platform. 

^^The eye of England," said Mr. Creedale, ^^nay the eye of all Eu- 
rope [Asia, Africa, and America, added Valentine] are upon you, and I 
can only say that anytning more " 

'* Laughable," cried Yfuentine, assuming the voice of a respectable 
plumber who stood near him. 

^* Good heavens !" exclaimed the Mayor, ^to what a depth of degra- 
dation have we dived ! For the love of grace permit me to say ih&i 
anything more disgraceful never came within the pale 6f my experience. 
Am I to be supported ? (loud cries of yes, yes !) Then in the name 
of mighty reason, I call upon you loudly, boldly, emphatically, and 
that ¥nth all the energy of which I am capable, to do so. (^^ We will, 
we will !" "Down with the tory myrmidons !" ** Down with the rank 
revolutionary raff!" and loud cheers.) 

At this stage of the proceedings the mayor quietly intimated to Mr. 
Creedale, that it wonM perhaps be, imder the circumstances, expedient 
to cot it short ; and Mr. Creedale having with half an eye perceived 
the propriety of that suggestion, concluded amidst general uproar, with 
the following most pointed remark : — 

" Gentlemen, since you will not hear me speak, I shall beg at once 
to nominate, my friend Mr. Stone, a man whose equal as a fit and pro- 
per perMm to be a paving commissioner is not to be found." 



14 LIFE AMD ADVBNTURS8 OF 

Hereupon, there were loud cheere from the libeial party, and hinea 
and groans from the tories, and when Mr. Leechamp rose to second the 
nommation, the cheering, and hissing, and groaning were renewed. 

Mr. Mac Ireling then came forwitfd to propose Mi. Slahb, who had 
the whole of the conservatiye interest on his side ; but the moment he 
appeared in front of the platform, Valentine cried ^' Now for a signal 
retaliation! now for our revenge?" 

"Gentlemen/' said Mr. Mac Ireling. 

*' You'll not let a rank torj speak if you are men !'' ezdaamed 
Valentine; and Mr. Mac Ireling was immediately assailed with a tre- 
mendous volley of groans from the liberals, who naturally believed that 
the conservatives had created the whole of the previous disturbance. 

"Gentlemen! — Gentlemen! — Gentlemen I*' reiterated the mayor 
at intervals, appropriately filled up with hissine, groaning, cheering, 
whistling, and yelhng. " I demand to be heara. I innst — I insist 
upon silence. (' Order, order I chair, chair !') In the name of all that's 
gracious let it not — let it not, oh ! let it not go forth to the world, that 
tne men of this ancient and enlightened boreueh, in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, in the heart of the British empire ; in the centre, the very bull's- 
eye of civilisation, are slaves to passion, idiots, madmen, and fools, 
doud cheers.) Am I a cipher? (hear, hear!) On the instant would I 
dissolve this most outrageous meeting, were it not that I am determined 
to maintain inviolate the dignity of the office I have the honour to hold, 
and not to be intimidated, frightened, alarmed, or put down by mere 
clamour, (vehement cheering. J If we are to proceed, in the name of 
blind and impartial justice, of mighty and inmiortal reason, of invinci- 
ble and sound constitutional common sense, in the name of all that is 
mighty, respectable, and just, let us do so." 

This pointed and poetic appeal, delivered as it was, in tones of the 
most eloquent indignation, haa the effect of inspiring the audience with 
awe, which induced something bearing the semblance of order to pre- 
vail 

Mr. Mac Ireling then again stepped forward, and said, "Gentlemen, 
I hope that my conduct has becoi of a character to conomand the es- 
teem of " 

"The Tories I" shouted Valentine. 

" Heavens!" exclaimed the mayor, with his hands clenched, and 
raising his voice to the highest raging pitch — "by all that is powerful 
and pure, I'll commit that man who presumes agiun to utter a single 
syllable for the purpose of " 

Valentine here sent into the body of the meeting an awfully melodra- 
matic "Ha ! ha ! ha !" which appeared absolutely to electrify his wor- 
ship, who loudly cried " Officers ! now do your duty I" 

In vain those respectable functionaries, sweating with indignation, 
rushed to the middle of the hall, with the laudable view of arresting 
the delinq^uent. Loud laughter was still heard, but invariably behind 
them, whichever way they happened to turn. The perspiration poured 
down their cheeks, for their exertions were really terrifio. They 
stamped, and puffed, and tore, and shook their fists, and looked etonal 



VALBNTIKB VOX. 15 

daggers at every man in their vicinity. The laughter was heard still ; 
ana away they went t^in with fresh energy, inspired hy his worship's 
reiterated cries of "Officers, now do your duty !" At length, fairly 
driven to desperation, and heing in a state of the most excruciating 
mental agony, they resolved on seizing some one, and accordingly 
collared Mr. Lym, a highly reputahle haker, whom they happily dis- 
oovered in the atrocious act of smiling at the ridiculous character of 
their appearance. In vain Mr. Lym proclaimed his innocence ! — they 
had caught him in the act! and hence proceeded to drag him towards 
the door with all possible voilence. In the space of one minute Mr. 
Lym was divested of his top coat, under coat, waistcoat, and shirt !— - 
those articles of apparel having been torn completely off by the en- 
raged functionaries in the due execution of their duty. Lym would 
have left the hall quietly enough, but the radicals would by no means 
suffer him to do so. They rushed to the rescue ; and on Valentine 
shooting out "Down with the republicans!'' in one voice, and ^'Down 
with the tories V in another, a general battle ensued, which was kept 
np on both sides with infinite spirit, while the mayor, duly mounted on 
the table, was engaged in denouncing the irregular proceedings with all 
the indignant energy at his command. 

The voice of V luentine was now no longer needed. The electors were 
making amply sufficient noise without his aid. He therefore mounted 
tiie rostrum, partly for safety and partly with a view to the full enjoy- 
ment of the scene, and then for the first time discovered that instead of 
the combatants being divided into two grand political parties, as they 
ought to have been, they were levelling their blows vnth indiscriminate 
fary, regardless utterly of everything but the pleasure of conferring 
upon some one the honour of a hit. In one comer of the hall there 
was a dense mass of electors, of whom the majority were extremely 
corpulent) hugging and hanging on each other, like bees when they 
swarm, vrith such remarkable tenacity that the entire body formed a 
most interesting exemplification of a perfectly dead lock. In another 
comer there were two lines of amateur gladiators, hitting out as hard as 
ihey could hit, but as they all, very discreetly, closed their eyes to pre- 
serve them, and went in head foremost like bucks, their evolutions were 
not strictly scientific, although the hardest heads did the greatest 
amount of execution. In a third comer of the hall, there was a phalanx 
of individuals who formed a complete Gorgian knot, and who contented 
themselves vrith elbowing and grinning at each other with most praise- 
worthy zeal; while in the fourth there were two distinct ranks of in- 
dependent electors, one-half of whom were striving to protect their 
firiends, by striking over the shoulders of those friencb whom they kept 
with appropriate consideration in the front, to receive all the blows. 
The grand point of attraction, however, was in the centre. Here a 
circle of about two-and-twenty feet in diameter was strewed with quick 
bodies, horizontally tvristing in and out — sometimes above the surface, 
snd sometimes below — like so many eels in a tub, without even the 
possibility of any one of them achieving his perpendicular. They could 
itol rise. The more desperate, the more abortive were their efforts to do 



16 LIFE ANP ADyBNTVRBS OF 

60. They writhed, and kicked, and blustered, and rolled, but still pre* 
served the true character of the scene, namely, that of a general sprawl. 

While these really delightful proceedings were hmne conducted, cer- 
tain well-intentioned persons, who had escaped, conceiving it to be the 
commencement of a sanguinary revolution, rushed with breathless baste 
to the Bell, which they knew to be the head-quarters of a troop of 
dragoons, then temporarily stationed in the town, and at once gave the 
alarm, that the rebellion might be nipped in the bud. Before the awful 
tale could be told twice, the trumpet sounded on the Market Hill, to 
horse! and in less than five minutes the entire troop, headed by a 
mounted magistrate, galloped to the scene of action. 

On reaching the hall, the revolutionists were to the soldiers invisible. 
A tumultuous din was heard — ^a din which threatened to burst the case < 
ment ; but nothing could be seen. The doors were fast. Not one of 
the rebels within Knew how to open them ; nor coidd they be con- 
veniently opened from without. Mr. Alldread, the magistrate, how- 
ever, in the king's name, commanded them to be instantly broken down, 
which command was obeyed with much alacrity by the alarmists. But 
here another difficulty presented itself; the rebels either would not, or 
could not come out ! Mr. Alldread, therefore, determined to surmount 
every obstacle, in the king's name commanded the soldiers to gallop in. 
He was for checking the rebellion ere it got to a head ! so certain was 
he, that if energetic measures were not promptly taken, the British em- 
pire would be crumbled into one chaotic mass of revolutionary ruin. 

Now for a troop of dragoons to gallop pell-mell into a densely 
crowded hall, was r^arded, very naturally, by Captain Copeland, the 
officer in command, as somewhat of a novelty in military tactics ; how- 
ever, partly to humour the alarmed magistrate, and partly because he 
felt that the mere sight of the soldiers would be sufficient to put an end 
to all civil hostilities, he ordered his men to follow him with all possible 
care, and accordingly in they all went. 

The eyes of the majority of the insurgents were at this crisis closed, 
and as those of the rest were fixed firmly upon their antagonists, the 
quiet entrance of the soldiers, except by a few near the door, was for a 
moment disregarded. Captain Copeland, however, ordered the trumpet 
to sound, and the trumpeter blew a shivering blast, so loud, that in an 
instant, as if by magic, hostilities ceased. 

"Upon em !" loucUy shouted Mr. Alldread; "char-r-r-r-ge !" 

The gallant captain smiled ; and his men had absolutely the cold- 
blooded audacity to wink at each other with gleeful significance. 

" Heavens !" exclaimed Mr. Alldread, utterly astonished at the mani- 
fest indisposition of the soldiers to cut the rebels individually into 
mince-meat. " Why, what do you fear ? In the king's name, again 
I command you to mow the traitors down !" 

Captain Copeland, perceiving every eye fixed upon him, at once grace- 
fully waved his bright sword until the point rested opposite the door, 
when the rebels, viewing this as an intimation that they would all be 
permitted to depart unscotched, rushed with all the alacrity at their 



VALBNTTNE TOX. 17 

comnumd into the street, and in the space of fiye minutes the entire hody 
of the hall was deserted. 

A oouncil of war was then held on the spot, at which the mayor was 
too exhausted to utter an audible sentence, but Mr. Alldread could not 
withhold the loud expression of his unspeakable surprise at Captain 
Gopeland's peculiarly unconstitutional indisposition to promote the 
circulation of rank rebellious blood. It was, however, eventually 
decided that no further steps need be taken in the matter, and as the 
captain wished to spend a merry evening, he invited the mayor and every 
member of the corporation present to dine with him forthwith at the 
Bell. The invitation was accepted, and as they left the hall, certain 
etraggliag knots of rebeb who were discussing the cause of the dis- 
turbance with great energy, took to their heels and ran to the various 
public houses uiey were in the habit of frequenting, each, of course, 
with the view of contending for the correctness of his own version of the 
origin of the finy . The soldiers smiled as they saw the rebels running ; but, 
although Mr. Alldread insisted upon the propriety of the troop giving 
ihem diace, the party proceeded with due dignity to dinner, after which 
the bottle went round merrily till midnight, when the mayor and the 
rest of the members of the corporation, at the particular desire of Mr. 
Alldread were conducted to the doors of their respective residences, 
imd^ a most formidable military escort. 



CHAPTER IV. 

MATERNAL SOtldTUDE. GREAT-T7NCLB JOHN IN CONVULSIONS. THB 

CHASTITY OF A MAIDEN IMPUONBD. 

Nothing could exceed the delight with which Valentine contemplated 
the result of the first grand display of his latent power. He went home 
in ecstacies, and exercised his voice with so mucn violence, and imitated 
the contortions of the constables so grotesquely, that his affectionate 
parent absolutely believed him to be possessed of the same spirit as that 
which inhabited the swine. Again and again she implored him to 
explain to her what had occurred; but, inspired with the conviction 
that his power would lose a great portion of its value if its existence in 
him became known, he confined himself to a statement of the fact of his 
having been to the meeting and upset them all. The singular style, 
however, in which this statement was made, and the loud and irre- 
pressible laughter by which it was accompanied, caused serious appre- 
hensions on the part of Mrs. Vox that h& Valentine had eaten of the 
insane root, and prompted her to go for advice to Unde John, while 
Val was doing justice to the cokl remains of a fillet of veal and a 
knuckle of ham. 

Now, for somewhat more than two-and-twenty years, without a day's 
intermission. Uncle John had reclined on three well-cushioned chairs, 



18 LIFE AND ADYENTURBS OF 

with a pipe in his mouth and a glass of remarkably stiff brandy and 
water by his side, from the time that the cloth was removed at two 
o'clook until five. From this position he never by any chance moved 
until old Hannah brought up the tea-tray, and it was in this position 
that Mrs. Vox found him. 

" Well, Pen!" said Uncle John, as the poor lady entered, " come to 
see me— eh? There's a good girl." 

Mrs. Vox approached the chair on which his head was reclining, and 
as she kissed his shining brow a tear dropped upon his nose. 

" What's that!" cried Uncle John—" What's the matter, my girl ?— 
what has happened ? Come, come, sit you down and let's know all 
about it." 

" Oh, Uncle!" said Mrs. Vox, " do, pray, see my Val." 

" Why, what's the young dog been up to now ?" cried Uncle 
John. 

" Once for all," said Mrs. Vox, having taken a deep inspiration, " I 
believe that he's mad." 

" Pooh, pooh, pooh — nonsense, child!" cried Uncle John, ** Mad! 
Fiddledeedee, pooh, pooh, pooh — what has he been after ?" 

" I have told you before," said the afflicted lady, " what singular 
noises I have heard about the house when he is in it." 

" I know, I know," interrupted Uncle John, " imagination, child, 
mere imagination — pooh, pooh, pooh — don't be superstitious." 

" But to-day," continued Mrs. Vox, sobbing — "to-day, uncle, when 
be came home, not only did I hear dreadful noises all over the house, 
but he made up such horrible faces that he frightened me out of my 
senses ; and all that I could get from him was, that he had done it — 
that he'd been to the meeting and had upset them all !" 

** The meeting! What right has he to interfere with politics?" cried 
Uncle John, ringing the bell with unusual violence. " Surely there's 
plenty of politicians in the town without hira ! Upset 'em ! — Here, 
Hannah," he continued as the old servant entered — " go, and tell that 
boy Valentine to come to me instantly. Bring him with you: don't 
come without him. Upset 'em indeed ! What right has a boy like 
that — ^he's not twenty yet — " 

" No," interrupted Mrs. Vox, " he was only nineteen the 14th of last 
February — ." 

" What right has a lad like him to go to meetings? / never go to 
such places ; that boy '11 be ruined." 

" But it isn't only that," said Mrs. Vox, " I shouldn't care, but I'm 
sure that he's touched : I'm quite certain tlie poor boy's possessed." 

" Pooh, rubbish, child, rubbish !" observed Uncle John, " the boy's a 
splendid boy, a fine high-spirited boy. I'd not break his spirit for the 
world : — but he mustn't be spoiled — no, he mustn't be spoUed. If the 
devil he in him, why the devil shall come out of him : I'll not have him 
there; but we'll see, child — we'll see." 

Uncle John then proceeded to refill his pipe, and having directed 
Mrs. Vox to mix a leetle more brandy and water, looked earnestly at the 
fire, and prepared for the attack. 







/; /:..:,/. /,:■/,//„■„ .u/„.,/ 



TALKNTINB VOX. 19 

*^ Well! young gentlemaa !" said he, knitting his brows and locking 
desperate. 

Mrs. Vox turned quickly towards the door, and found that Uncle 
John was only rehearsing. Yalentme, however, immediately alter 
entered, and Uncle John commenced : — 

^' Well! young gentleman! Now, sir, what thet all this mean?" 

** All what, uncle?" quietly asked Valentine. 

" All what, sir!" exclaimed Uncle John—" Why all this— this — 
conduct^ sir I — that's what I mean." 

*' What conduct V said Yal, with perfect calmness. 

" What conduct, mr!" cried Uncle John — " why, your conduct. 
Are you mad ?" 

'* I hope not," said Valentino. " I am not aware that I am." 

^< Don't tell me^ sir, that you are not aware of it 1" shouted the old 
gentleman. " Here's your poor mother here fit to break her heart about 
your horrible noises. I'll have you put into the lunatic asylum, sir! 
You want a strait jacket ! — ^but where have you been all day ? — what 
lukve you been after?*' 

" I've been at the meeting," said Valentine. 

^^ The meeting !" said Uncle John — ^' prayt what btuiness had you at 
the meeting?" 

" Come, uncle, don't be angry," said Valentine, smiling. " 111 tell 
you all about it : but you'll not be cross, virill you ?" 

" Cross, sir!" exclaimed Uncle John. " I am not cross: I never am 
cross." 

Valentine then drew a chair near the fire, and commenced an expla- 
nation of all that had occurred. At first he utterly astounded -Uncle 
John, by the development of his power, and then proceeded with the 
relation of its effects upon the meeting. In ten minutes Uncle John had 
swallowed more smoke than he had done during the whole thirty years 
he had been a smoker. Seven several times did the brandy and witter 
go the wrong way ; and as he had a perfect knowledge of almost every 
man present at the hall, his imagination entered with so much spirit 
into the scene, and he laughed at the description of their movements so 
immoderatelys that at length he could neither drink, smoke, nor sit, 
but paced the room holding his back and chest together — at intervals 
ejaculating, ^^stop! stop! stop!" The more, however. Uncle John 
laughed, the more spirit did Valentine infuse into his tale, and at length 
in an absolute convulsion of mirth, the delighted old gentleman threw 
himself upon the sofa, and rolled to and fro like a butt m a groove. 

'* You young dog !" cried Uncle John, when he had recovered suffi- 
cient steadiness of breath to speak : '' Don't you know, sir, it was 

wrong, very wrong thus to .'* Here he was seized with another fit 

of laughter, so loud and so painful, that for relief he moved his body 
first backwards and forwards, and then from side to side, while he lite- 
rally mopped the perspiration from his face, which was as red as that 
of the sun, when, through a dark hazy atmosphere, he is seen to 
approach the horizon. 

Nor did Mrs. Vox fail to fnjoy the relation of the scene, for burying 



20 LIFE AJND ADVENTURB8 OF 

lier face in her handkerchief, she was equally convnlsedy although not 
quite so loud in the manifestation of her mirth. 

" Hold your tongue, you young rascal !" was the command of Uncle 
John, whenever Valentine re-opened his lips to relate any incident that 
had previously escaped him. Valentine, however, was not to be 
silenced. So long as he found the old gentleman enjoyed it, so long 
did he keep up the fire, until at last Uncle John declaring solemnly that 
he could stand it no longer, commanded him to leave the room^ which 
he did with the view of alarming old Hannah in the kitchen. 

No sooner had Val made his exit from the parlour, than it occurred 
to Mrs. Vox, that if the thing became known to the authorities, the 
result might be anything but pleasing, and as Uncle John fell at once 
into her views, he began to think of the best mode of avoiding the 
discovery. At first he thought it sufficient to enjoin silence upon 
Valentine, but subsequently nmcyinff that the ''young dogf would 
deem the joke infinitely too good to oe concealed, he thought that as 
he intended soon to send him to Mr. Gbodman, an old friend of his 
who resided in London, the safest plan would be to start him off at 
once. 

'' But what am /to do r enquired Mrs. Vox anxiously. 

'' Why^ come and live with me ;" said Uncle John. '' Now make 
no objections. He'll be well taken care of by Goodman, I know, or of 
course I wouldn't send him." 

It was accordingly decided that he should start on the Wednesday 
morning, and when all the preliminaries had been arranged. Uncle John 
called Valentine just as he was charging old Hannah with having con- 
cealed a child, whose half stifled cries and convulsive sobs, in one of the 
laree dresser-drawers, he had been imitating to perfection. Of course, 
on Doing called, Val left the surprised and indignant old mud in the 
kitchen, to prosecute her search; and after having had a few words with 
Great-Uncle John, on the subject of his journey, with the idea of 
which he was delighted, the little family separated for the night. 

The whole of the morning of the following day, being Tuesday, was 
occupied by Valentine and Mrs. Vox in packing up, while Uncle John 
was engaged for several hours in the composition of a letter to Mr. 
Goodman ; a document written with infinite care, and in a style of 
course peculiarly his own ; and in the evening Valentine and his mother 
a^n visited the old gentleman, who employed himself till bed-time in 
giving Val instniotions, having reference to his conduct in London. 



VALENTIKB VOX. 81 



CHAPTER V. 

EXPLAI1V8 HOW VALBNTIirK STARTED FOB LONDON; HOW KNTBBTAIN- 
IN6 TRAYELLINO COMPANIONS CAN BE; HOW A TALIANT BLACK- 
SMITH CAN BE A DEAD SHOT; HOW FIRM MAY BE THE FAITH OF 
A COACHMAN IN WITCHCRAFT ; AND HOW IT IS POSSIBLE FOR A 
JOURNEY TO BE PROTRACTED. 

There are probably no feelings at all comparable with those which are 
experienced by a sangoine country youth, on the eye of his first depar- 
ture for London. His mind is all excitement. The single idea of 
viaiiinff a place of which he has heard so much, and knows so little^ 
engenckis thousands. Asleep or awake his whole soul is set upon the 
journey, and were it necessary for him to rise at four in the morning, 
though he fi&iled to go to sleep before two, he woidd be just as certam 
to wake in tame to hoeur the clock, strike four, as if the ^ warning* wire 
communicaied with a galvanic battery sufficiently powerful to force him 
out of bed. 

Valentine, after dreaming all night of the great city and its glories, 
rose some hours before his usual time, but not before Mrs. Vox, who 
had not slept at all, bad re-ransacked every drawer and every box in the 
house, with the view of ascertaining if anything had been forgotten. 

About an hour and a half before the time for starting arrived, 
in rushed Uncle John with a view of expressing his firm conviction, 
that if Valentine didn't look sharp the coach would certainly go with- 
out him, and of explaining moreover, that the coachman, wnom he 
knew, was like the eternal tide, seising that he would wait for no man. 
Breakfast was therefore immediately prepared, but during the preparation 
Uncle John compared watches, and having made them agree, compared 
them with the house-dock, and then sent the servant, and then went 
himself to ascertain if the house-clock agreed with the church. AU 
this being eventually arranged to his entire satisfiiction, down they sat 
to breakfistft, with the watches of course upon the table. Valentine 
had no appetite. An egg however at length was seduced down his 
throat by the preliminary introduction of a piece of broiled ham, but 
even this was unconsciously swallowed, while with the coffee in his 
hand he was pacing the room. He could not keep in his chair ; nor 
could Mrs. Vox keep in hen, nor could Unde John keep in his. They 
were all three in motion, but of course doing nothing, there being 
in reality nothing to do. A dozen times the gin was dii^tched to see 
if the horses were in, and after mudi feverish exdtement it wot at last 
announced that two females were standing by the side of three boxes 
in the gateway! That was suffident. Off went the luggage in a whed- 
barrow, on went Val's two upper coats, round went a large lambs- 
wool comforter, and down went a ^ass of raw brandy, and all in the 
space of thirty seconds. Mrs. Vox had been prohibited from seeing 
Valentine off; they therefore at once bade each other adieu, while 



22 LIFE AND ADVBNTUBES OF 

Uncle John, standing at the door, was expressing his opinion that the 
coach would he gone ; but no sooner had he suc^eded in dragging Yal 
away, than in spite of the prohibition, Mrs. Yox hurried on her bonnet 
and shawl, and started round the comer of the street, which she knew 
the coach would pass, for the purpose of catching a last glance of Val- 
entine, and wavinff her hand. 

''Now then, look alive there !" shouted the coachman from the book- 
ing-office door, as Uncle John and his charge approached. '^ Have yow 
got that are mare's shoe made comforble, Simon 7" 

*' All right Sir," said Simon, and he went round to see if it were so, 
while the mggage was being secured. 

'^ Jimp up genelman !" cried the coachman, as he waddled from the 
office with his whip in one hand and his way-bill in the other ; and the 
passengers accordingly proceeded to arrange themselves on the various 
parts of the coach — Valentine, by the paxticular desire of Uncle John, 
having deposited himself immediately behind the seat of the ooach-> 
man. 

'' If you please," said the old lady, who had been standing with her 
daughter in the gateway for upwards of an hour; " will you be good 
enow please to tid^e care of my darter ?" 

''All safe," said the coachman, untwisting the reins. '' She shaunt 
take no harm. Is she goin all the way ?" 

" Yes, Sir," replied the old lady ; " God bless her ! she's got a place 
in Lunnun an I'm told." 

''Hook on them ere two sack o'whoats there behind," cried the 
coachman, " I mamt go without 'em this time." 

"God bless you, my dear! God bless you!" exclaimed the old 
lady, and the tears gushed from her eyes as she kissed her poor girl, 
whose heavy sobs choaked her utterance. " Heaven will protect you : 
I know it will, my child. You'll think of your poor old mother? 
There, cheer up my dear — it's all for the best ; I shall be very happy. 
You are all the world to me; but indeed I shall be very happy/' and 
the tears burst forth in fresh streams, while she tried to reanimate the 
spirits of her child by affiscting to smile. 

"Now, all right there?" cned the coachman. 

" Good bye, my dear," sobbed the old lady, almost heartbroken, kiss- 
ing her child again as she stepped upon the ladder. " God bless you ! 
do write to me soon, be sure you do — I only want to hear from you 
often. Take care of yourself. Here my love," she added, taking a 
handkerchief from her neck, "tie this round your poor dear throat." 

" No mother, no," said the poor girl crying bitterly, " that's the only 
one you have left. I'll be plenty warm enough." 

" Yes do," said the old lady " I'm sure youll take cold." 

" Hold hard !" cried the coachman as the horses were dancing, on the 
cloths being drawn from their loins. " Whit, whit !" and away they 
pranced, as merrily as if they had known that their load was nothing 
when compared with the load they had left behind them. Even old 
Uncle John, as he cried " Good bye, my dear boy," and waved his hand, 
for the last time, felt the tears tnckling fast down his cheeks. 



VAIENTINE VOX. 23 

*^ No, no room niarm !" said the coachman, shaking his head as he 
approached the comer of the street at which Mrs. Vox was standing. 

Valentine's attention was thus directed to his mother, who was kiss- 
ing her hand with considerable rapidity, when the salute was returned, 
aim the coach passed on. 

The fullness of Valentine's heart caused him for the first hour to be 
silent; but after that, the constant change of scene, and the pure 
bracing air had the effect of restoring his spirits, and he felt a very 
powerj^il inclination to sing. Just, however, as he was about to com- 
mence for his own amusement the coach stopped to change horses, when 
Tooler, the coachman, of course got down, and as several of the passen- 
gers followed his example, Valentine got down too, and as they all 
went into the road-side house, and called for glasses of ale, why Valen- 
tine called for a glass like the rest, and drank it with equal enjo3anent. 
In less than two minutes they started again, and Valentine, who then 
felt ready for anything, began to think seriously of the exercise of his 
power. 

*' Whit, whit !" said Tooler, between a whisper and a whistle, as the 
fireah horses galloped up the hill. 

**Stop! hoa!" cried Valentine, assuming a voice, the sound of which 
appeared to have travelled some distance. 

" You have left one behind," observed a gentleman in black, who 
had secured the box-seat. 

*' O let un run a bit," said Tooler. ** Whit ! It'll give un a winder up 
this little hill, and teach un to be up in time in future. If we was to 
v?ait for every passenger as chooses to lag behind, we shouldn't git over 
the ground in a fortnit." 

*^Uoa! stop! stop! stop;" reiterated Valentine in the voice of a 
man pretty well out of breath. 

Tooler, without deigning to look behind, retickled the haunches of his 
leaders, and gleefully chuckled at the idea of how he was making a 
passenger sweat. 

The voice was heard no more, and Tooler on reaching the top of the 
hill pulled up and looked round, but could see no man running. 

** Where is he ?" enquired Tooler. 

** In the ditch !" replied Valentine, throwing his voice behind. 

** In the ditch !" exclaimed Tooler. " Blarm me, whereabouts ?" 

"Thero;" said Valentine. 

^' God bless my soul 1" cried the gentleman in black, who was an 
exceedingly nervous village clergyman. ^' The poor person no doubt 
has fidlen down in an absolute state of exhaustion. How very, very 
wrong of you, coachman, not to stop." 

Tooler, apprehensive of some serious occurrence, got down with the 
view of dragging the exhausted passenger out of the ditch, but although 
be rsn sevenu hundred yards down the hill, no such person of course 
ooald be found. 

^ Who saw nn ?" shouted Tooler as he panted up the hill again. 

*^ I saw nothing," said a passenger behind, '' but a boy jumpmg over 
the hedge." 



24 LIFE AND iJDTBNTITRES OF 

Tooler looked at his way-bill, counted the paasengen, found them all 
right, and remounting the box, got the horses again into a gallop, in 
the perfect conTiction that some villanous young scarecrow had raised 
the false alarm. 

^* Whit ! blarm them 'ere boys !" said Tooler, ^^ stead o' mindin their 
crows they are alius up to suffen. I only wish I had un here, I'd pay an 
to their blarmed bodies; if I wouldn't ■ ■ ." At this interesting 
moment, and as if to give a practical illustration of what he would 
have done in that case, he gave the off-wheeler so telling a cut round 
the loins, that the animal without any ceremony kicked over the trace. 
Of course Tooler was compelled to pull up again immediately ; and 
after having adjusted the trace, and asking the animal seriously what he 
meant, at the same time enforcing the question by giving him a blow 
on the bony part of his nose, he prepared to remount ; but just as he 
had got his left foot upon the nave of the wheel, Valentine so admirably 
imitated the sharp snapping growl of a dog in the front boot, that 
Tooler started back as quickly as if he had b^en shot, while the gentle- 
man in black dropped the reins and almost jumped into the road. 

*^Good gracious !*' exclaimed the gentleman in bhick, trembling with 
great energy ; '^ how wrong, how very horribly wrong of you, coach- 
man, not to tell me that a dog had been placed beneath my feet." 

^' Blarm their carcases!" cried Tooler, ^' they never told me a dog 
was shoved there. Lay dofcn ! We'll soon have yow out there to- 
gether!** 

'^Not for the worid!*' cried the gentleman in black, as Tooler ap- 
proached the foot- board in order to open it. *' Not for the worid ! un- 
un-un-less you le-le-let me get down first. I have no desire to pe-pe- 
perish of hydropho-phobia.** 

^* Kip yar fut on the board then sir, please," said Tooler, "well soon 
have the varmint out o' that." So saying he gathered up the reins, 
remounted the box, and started off the horses again at full gallop. 

The gentleman in black then began to explain to Tooler how utterly 
inconceivable was the number of persons who had died of hydrophobia 
within an almost unspeakably short space of time, in the immediate 
vicinity of the residence of a friend of his in London, and just as he 
had got into the marrow of a most execruciating description of the in- 
tense mental and physical agony of which the disease in its worst stage 
was productive, both he and Tooler suddenly sprang back, with their 
feet in the air, and their heads between the knees of the passengers be- 
hind them, on Yalentine giving a loud growling snap, more bitingly 
indicative of anger than before. 

As Tooler had tightly hold of the reins when he made this involun- 
tary spring, the horses stopped on the instant, and allowed him time to 
scramble up again without rendering the slow process dangerous. 

" I cannot, I-I-I positivdy cannot," said the gentleman in Mack, 
who had been thrown again into a dreadful state of excitement. *^ I 
cannot sit here — my nerves cannot endure it ; its perfectly shocking." 

"Blister their bowls!" exclaimed Tooler, whose firat impulse was 
to drag the dog out of the boot at all hazArds, but who on seeing the 



VALENTINE VOX. 2 



K 



hioaea waiting in the road a short distance a-head for the next stage, 
thought it better to wait till he had reached them. ^' I*H make un 
remember this the longest day o' thar blessed lives — blarm un ! Pliih I 

I'll let un know when I get back, I warrant. Ill lam un to ."^ 

^^Hoa, coachman! hoa! my hat's off!" cried Valentine, throwing 
his voice to the back of the coach. 

*' Well may I be pbit !" — said Tooler. " I'll make yow run back fort 
any bow — ^phit !'' 

In less than a minute the coach drew up opposite the stable, when 
the gentleman in black at once proceeded to alight. Just, however, as 
his foot reached the plate of the roller bolt, another growl from Valen- 
tine frightened him backwards, when Calling upon one of the old horse- 
keepers, he knocked him fairly down, and rolled over him heavily. 

^^ Darng your cloomsy carkus !" cried the horse-keeper, gathering 
himself up, ^' carn't you git oof ar cooarch aroat knocking o' pipple 
damr 

^' I-I-I beg pardon," trembling, observed the gentleman in black ; ^^ I 

hope I-I ." 

^^ Whoap 1 pardon !" contemptuously echoed the horsekeeper as he 
limped towards the bars to unhook the leaders' traces. 

'* Now then yow warmint let's see who yow belong to," said Tooler, 
approaching the mouth of the boot ; but just as ho was in the act of 
raising the foot board, anotlier angry snap made him close it again with 
the utmost rapidity. 

^' Lay down ! blarm your body !" cried Tooler, shrinking back. ^' Here 
yow Jim, kim here boi and take this era devil of a dog out o* that." 

Jim approached, and the growling was louder than oefore, while the 
gentleman in black implored Jim to take care that the animal didn't 
get hold of his hand. 

^ Here yow Harry !" shouted Jim, ^' 3rare noot afeared o' doogs to- 
gether— darng un / doont like un." 

Accordingly Harry came, and then Sam, and then Bob, and then Bill, 
but as the dog could not be seen, and as the snarling continued, neither 
of them dared to put his hand in to drag the monster forth. Bob 
therefore ran off for Tom Titus the blacksmith who^was known to care 
for neither dog nor devil, and in less than two minutes Tom Titus 
arrived with about three feet and a half of rod iron red hot. 
^' Darng un 1" cried Tom, ^Hhis ere '11 maake un quit together I" 
^^ Dear me ! my good man," said the gentleman in black, ^^ don't use 
that unchristianlike implement! don't put the dumb thing to such 
horrible torture!" 

"It don't siggerfy a button," cried Tooler, " I mamt go to stop here 
all day. Out o' that he must come." 

Upon this Tom Titus introduced his professional weapon, and com- 
menced poking about with considerable energy, while the snapping and 
growling increased with each poke. 

" I'll tell you what it is," said Tom Titus, turning round and wiping 
the sweat off his brow with his naked arm, " this here eretur here's 
stark raavin mad." 

B 



2G LIFE AND ADYENTURES OF 

*' I knew that he waa," cried the gentleman in black, getting into an 
empty waggon which stood without horses just out of the road ; ^* I 
felt perfecUy sure that he was rabid." 

'* He*s a bull-terrier too/' said Tom Titus, ^^I knows it by's growl. 
It's the worsest an daigdest to goo maad as is." 

*' Well what shall us do wi' w warment V said Tooler. 

^^ Shoot him ! shoot him !" cried the gentleman in black. 

" O I've goot a blunderbuss. Bob!" said Tom Titus, "yow run fort 
together, it's top o' the foige." 

Bob started at once, and Tom kept on the bar while Tooler, Sam, 
Harry, and Bob held the heads of the horses. 

"He's got nn; all right!" cried Tom Ijtus, as Bob neaied the 
coach with the weapon on his shoulder. " Yowll be doon for in noo 
time," he added as he felt with his rod to ascertain in which comer of 
the boot the bull-terrier lay. 

"Is she loarded?" asked Bob, as he handed Tom Titus the instru- 
ment of death. 

" Mind you make the shot come out at bottom," shouted Tooler. 

"I hool," said Tom Titus, putting the weapon to his shoidder. 
" Noo the loord ha' marcy on yar sool, as joodge says sizes," and in- 
stantly let fly. 

The horses of course plunged considerably, but still did no mischief; 
and before the smoke had evaporated, Valentine introduced into the 
boot a low melancholy howl, which convinced Tom Titus that the shot 
had taken effect. 

*' He's giv oop the ghost ; damg his carkus I" cried Tom, as he poked 
the dead body into the comer. 

" Well, let's have a look at un," said Tooler, " let's see what the 
warment is like." 

The gentleman in black at once leaped out of the waggon, and every 
one present drew near, when Tom, guided by the rod which he had 
kept upon the body, put his hand into the boot and drew forth a fine 
haie that had been shattered by the shot all to pieces. 

" He arat a bull-tarrier," cried Bob. 

" But that amt he,'* said Tom Titus. " He's some'er aboot here as 
dead as a darag'd nail: I know he's a corpse." 

" Are yow sure on't?" asked Tooler. 

" There amt any baim dooor deader," cried Tom. " Here, 1*11 lug 
um out an show yar." 

" No, no !" shouted Tooler, as Tom proceeded to pull out the luggage. 
" I mamt stay for that: I'm an hoiur behind now, blarm un! ^imp 
up, genelmen!' 

Tom Titus and his companions, who wanted the bull terrier as a 
trophy, entreated Tooler to allow them to have it, and having at length 
gamed his consent, Tom proceeded to empty the boot. Every eye was, 
of eourse, directed to every thing drawn out, and when Tom made a 
solemn dieclaiBtion that the boot was empty, they were all, at once, 
struck vdth amaxement. Each looked at the other with astounding 
incredulity, and overiiauled the luggage again and again. 



VALENTINK VOX. 27 

" Do you mean to say/' said Tooler, ^' that there arnt nuffin else in 
the boot?" 

^^ Darnged a thing !" cried Tom Titus, '^ cooni an look." And 
Tooler did look, and the gentleman in black looked, and Bob looKed, 
and Harry looked, and Bill looked, and Sam looked, and all looked, but 
found the boot empty. 

«« Well, blarm me !" — cried Tooler — ^^ But damg it aU, he must be 
some-wheie 1" 

^^ 1*11 taake my solum davy," said BiU, ^^ that he tctu there." 

'* I seed um myself," exclaimed Bob, '^ wi my oam oyea, an didn't 
loike the looks on um a bit." 

*' There cannot," said the gentleman in black, '^ be the smaUest pos- 
sible doubt about his having been there ; but the question for our mature 
consideration is, where is he now?" 

" I'll bet a pint," said Harry, " you bio wed um away." 

*'Blowed um away, you fool! — how could I ha blowed um away?" 
said Tom Titus in tones of contempt. 

"• Why he fe€u there," said Bob, '^ and he baint there noo, and he 
baint here nayther, so you must ha blowed um out o't th' boot: 'sides 
look at the muzzle o' this ere blunderbust !" 

^^Well, of all the rummest goes as ever happened," said Tooler, 
thrusting his hands to the very bottom of his pockets — ^^ this ere flogs 
em all into nuffin!" 

*^ It is perfectly astounding!" exclaimed the gentleman in black, 
looking again into the boot while the men stood and stared at each other 
with their mouths as wide open as human mouths could be. 

" Well in wi em agin," cried Tooler, " In wi em! — Blarm me if this 
here amt a queer 'un to get over.'' 

The luggage was accordingly replaced, and Tooler, on mounting the 
box, told the men to get a gallon of beer, when the gentleman in black 
generously gave them half-a-crown, and the horses started off, leaving 
Tom with his blunderbuss, Harry, Bill, Sam, and their companions, 
bewildered with the mystery which the whole day spent in the ale- 
house by no means enabled them to solve. 

Valentine chuckled so desperately over the success of this scheme, that 
he dared not, for fear of being suspected, commence another for some 
considerable time. The absurd surmises of the puzzled Tooler, and the 
inferences of the gentleman in black, which were scarcely less ridiculous, 
kept him in a perpetual fever while they met the '* down coach." 

^ You leave us here of course V observed the gentleman in black. 

" Noo," sud Tooler, *' worse look, I'm agoin right through. I've 
made a Vangement wi Waddle, 'tother coachman. He wants to goo 
dam and I wants to goo up. It taint often I do goo to tarn, but 
whens'ever I do, suffin's sure to be the matter. I've goot a 'pointment 
at seven to goo wi moi gab to the play an noo you see, blarm it — ^pliit ! 
pliit! — I'm a cupple o hours behind." 

'^ Hallo, my cherry bounce!" shouted Waddle, as he and Tooler 
pulled up. ^*' What's the natur o'the game note? Here a matter 
o' sixteen mile out!" — Tooler shook his head thoughtfully. '^ A spill 



28 LIFE AND ADTBMTURES OF 

my old W€gitable ? — ^Anything broke ?"— Hx>iiiinaed Waddle — ^' Any 
haccident V 

^' AbatU the rummest go," replied Tooler, ^ as yow ever had any 
notion on yet. But I mamt stop noo. I'll tell yow ool aboot it 
to-morrow — phiti phit!" 

^^ Well, ta ta, my turnip !" observed Mr. Waddle, and away the 
Goaolies rattled in opposite directions, Tooler lashing his leaders with 
unparalleled seyerity. 

Valentine^ having regained full command over his muscles, and per- 
ceiving that Tooler's nerves were so perfectly unstrung, that the diglitest 
thing would seriously annoy him, now began to indulge in his favourite 
imitations of a fretful child, upon the exactness of which he prided him- 
self especially. He sobbed, and squalled, and coughed, and hooped, and 
strained, and held his breath, and then struggling convulsively vnth his 
voice again, with all the vehemence of which he was capable, while 
Tooler was whipping, and shuffling, and fretting himself into a fever of 
excitement. 

*'*' Blarm that ere child!'' exclaimed Tooler, looking ronnd, '^ If yow'd 
keep that ere little un o' yourn quiet, mami, I'd thank yar." Valentine, 
however, still continued to persevere in his interesting imitations until 
Tooler, having worked himself up to such a pitch of excitement, that 
he could scarcely hold the reins, shouted angrily, ^' Marm ! yow must 
keep that ere child o' youm a leetle matter still. My horses camt stand 
it: they carot get along. Phit! Damg me, if it beant enow to drive 
a man mad!" 

'^ I dare say it's after it's teeth, poor thing !** observed the gentleman 
in black. 

'^ It's teeath I" cried Tooler, ^* It ony wants the breast. Jirt listen 
to it! Blarm my body — " 

^' I cant keep it quiet!" cried Valentine, assuming the voice of a 
female. ^^ It ant o' no use : I must throw it away," and he immediately 
uttered a piercing shriek, and exclaimed, '' Tlie child, the child I ^ — the 
chUd'soff!" 

Tooler, of course, stopped on the instant, and having given the reins 
to the gentleman in black, got down with the view of rescuing the 
infant from its perilous position, and of pointing out to its mother in 
terms of just indignation the extreme inhumanity of her conduct. 

^^ Where is it, yow haggageT cried Tooler, looking anxiously along 
the road. 

*' Ha yow drapped onythin cooarchman?" enquired a countryman, 
sitting beliind. 

" Drapped anythin !" angrily echoed Tooler. " Wheip, wher€ is the 
child?" 

^^ Woot choild?" enquired the countryman. 

** Why that wum man's child as she jist throw'd away!" shouted 
Tooler. 

«« We amt had noo choild here," said the countryman — a fact to 
which all who sat behind bore instant testimony. 

What!" exclaimed Tooler, "do yow mean to say ? do yow mean to 



« 




. /^.,./. y-. .:,,„,„,',..,,.,.,., . '/.,:, 



k 



\ 



TALENTINE VOX. 29 

tell me you beant had a child there that's been cryin' the last hour, an* 
pattin' my horses into this ere damg'd sweat V* 

^^ I tell yow," replied the countryman, '' we amt had no choild ; we 
aint seen nuffin like a choild hero." 

'^ Well, may I he damgd !" exclaimed Tooler, scratching his head 
very violently and swinging his right arm with great force tnrough the 
air. '' This beats all as I ever did hear on afore. It doant siggerfy 
tawking," added he, on remounting the box ; ^^ the devil's aither an in- 
side or an outside passenger. I've got *un, to-day, sure enow." And 
Tooler drew out his way-bill with the view of ascertaining which was 
likely to be his Satanic Majesty incog.^ while the gentleman in black, 
the three passengers who sat on the same seat with Valentine, and 
Valentine himself were expressing to each other their utter astonish- 
ment at the extraordinary character of the occurrence, with great elo- 
quence and warmth. 

^^ That's it ! I have it !** said Tooler to himself as a countrywoman 
passed with a basket on her arm. '^ She said so — she said she would. 
Blann her old body f 

It was easy to perceive that at that moment something had flitted 
across Tooler *s mind, which had proved to him a source of fresh annoy- 
ance^ for he appeared to be in a state of extreme agitation, and con- 
tinued to be so, muttering short and bitter sentences, scratching his 
head, striking the crown of his hat, and violently grinding his teeth, 
until he arrived at the end of the stage, when he ran into the stable 
with breathless haste, and returned before a second idea of his object 
could be concaved, with a box of toob in one hand and a horse-shoe in 
the other. 

'' Hold hard a bit, BiU," said he, kneeling upon the pole and nailing 
the horse-shoe to the foot-board. " There ! now do your worst X 
Blarm yar carkus ! I defy yar !" While the horses were being put in, 
Tooler shook his head most triumphantly and smiled at the horse-shoe 
with intense satisfaction. 

" What, in the name of goodness," said the gentleman in black, when 
Tooler had re-mounted, " have you nailed to the foot-board ?" 

" Hold hard ! Phih ! a horse-shoe ! *' cried Tooler ; " The cooarch is 
bewitched, sir ! — least ways it teas ; but I've cured it now — thai 9 a 
settler ! '* 

'^ Awful !" exclaimed the gentleman in black with due solemnity. 
^' How can you, coachman, entertain so impious a thought ?" 

*^ I know it !" said Tooler, '^ that wumman as we passed with a 
basket then brought it to my mind. She's, for all the world, like her." 

^' Like whom r inquired the gentleman in black. 

" Why, like the witch !" replied Tooler. •• I'll tell yow ool aboot it. 
T'other day, when I wor comin' aloong the rooard, I seed this ere 
warmint a settin on the path, with a basket by her side. Young 
Harry, the nevy of our proprietor, was on the box wi' me, and so says 
he, Tooler, say he. 111 bet yow a crown bowl o' punch, yow doant 
hook that ere basket up here. Done, says I. It's a bet, says he, done. 
So I makes my whip ready, and jist as we come along side o' the 



30 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP VALENTINE VOX. 

wannint, I winds it round tbe handle of the basket, and, sartin enough, 
up it comes, when Hany catches it jist by the middle o' the handle, 
and I s*pose it mought ha' had in it a cupple o* score of eggs.wi' the 
yolks of which, in course, we was smothered. Well, I puUs up at 
once, lor I eouldu t see my horses until I'd wiped some on it off; and 
while Harry and me was laughing at aich other, fit to split, up comes 
tbe old warment, and, praps, she did nt go it a ffood un ! Well, as 
soon as I could get through the mess, to my pocket, I dropped her 
half-a-crown, and Harry dropped her another ; but even this didn't 
satisfy the nasty old frump ; she wanted them ere eggs, pitickler, it 
seemed, and no others would do; and she swore tliat 1 should rue the 
day I broke em. So says Harry ; Do yow know who she is ? Noo^ 
says I, I camt say as I do. Why, says he, that's the famous old 
witch ! The devil it is, says I, and so it was ; and this is the way 
she's been a sarvin' me out. But I've fixed her wi' the horse-shoei 
there, damg her old carkus, she camt do no more mischief now." 

'^ Are you sure of tbat ? Beware ! " said Valentine, in an awfully 
hollow whisper, sufficiently loud only to reach Tooler's ear. 

Tooler trembled for an instant ; but, his faith in the virtue of the 
horse-sboe being fixed, he soon regained his self-possession, and, giving, 
his head a knowing devil-mav-care twist, sat firmly in his seat, fully 
determined to take no heed of any thing that might threaten. 

^' Hoa! coarchman!" exclaimed one of the passengers at this moment; 
" only look at this wheel !" 

Tooler sat like a statue. He did not deign to move a muscle. 

" Coarchman I coarchman ! " shouted the countryman who was sit- 
ting behind ; '^ lookee how tliis off- wheel 's a waddling !" 
• " Blarm un !" cried Tooler, " let un waddle ! Phit ! Phit !" and 
away went the horses down the hill ; but in an instant Tooler saw the 
wheel whizzing a-head, at the rate of full thirty miles an hour. 

^' Lean all to the left !" shouted Tooler, and the passengers obeyed 
him, but he also pulled the horses to the left so violently that tbe 
coach, coming in contact with the jutting bank, turned over and de- 
posited him and the passengers upon a newly formed bed of manure. 

Witchcraft was, in Tooler'^ view, again triumphant. His faith in 
the efficacy of horse-shoes vanished. He felt himself perfectly beaten, 
and, therefore, after having, with considerable difficulty, managed to 
get his insides out, he left his horses, coach, and luggage in the care of 
the persons who had fortunately witnessed the accident, and waddled 
with the fragments of the whip in his hand towards a road-side inn a 
few hundred yards distant. On reaching the house, of course, a 
thousand questions were asked in a breath : not one of them, however, 
did Tooler deign to answer. He threw himself carelessly into a large 
arm-chair, and^ declaring that he would not drive that day another 
step, drank with infinite gusto, in a rummer of raw brandy, " Eternal 
perdition to the witch 1" 



83 



CHAPTER VI. 

raCDtlAB UBBRALITT OF THE OENTLBMAN IK BLACK. — THB OBBRN- 
BTBD M0N8TEB PRBTEllTfl THS PBBFOBMANCB OP A MOffT DIMN- 
TEBB8TBD ACT OP PBIEND6HIP. 

Upon a man uniifled to profound thinking, profound thought has a 
peculiarly somniferous effect. No sooner does he get below the surface 
than he Ms &Bt asleep, and although he dreams of his subject with 
unspeakable zeal, draws conclusions from his premises, solves^ collateral 
problems, establishes positions, and carries his designs into i m a gi n ar y 
execution, his mind, when he awakes, leaps back over the interesting 
interregnum, and begins to toil again 9i the point from which it started. 

Such had been the workings of Tooler's Tivid imapnation, and such 
was precisely his position when awakened by the arrival of the paesen- 
ters at the Inn. Having proposed with great feeling, and drank with 
due sincerity, ^^ Eternal pei^ition to the Witch," ho fell at once into a 
train of deep thought which, as a natural consequence, induced deep 
sleep, in which he saw and held a visionary conversation vnth the hag 
whoee unhallowed influence he was just on the point of overthrowing 
when the passengers entered the well-warmed parlour in which he was 
snorinff aloud. 

*^ We've got un to roights," said John Brown, the landlord, who 
headed the group, ^^ we've got un up agin. Sir I" continued he in a much 
loudm tone, shaking Tooler with what in any ordinary case might hare 
been deemed most unnecessary violence. 

Tooler unconsciously nodded an acknowledgment, and began to snore 
again just as loudly as before. 

'* Uome coachman, come, eame my good man," said the gentleman in 
black ; but he could make no impression upon Tooler at all. At length, 
however, by virtue of bawling, tickling, and shaking, John Brown 
saooeeded in causing him to open his eyes, which he at once commenced 
rubbing with great desperation. 

" Now, Sir r said John Brovni, " it's aU roight f 

w O— ah !" observed Tooler. 

*^ We've got on the wheel, and all's xcady," continued John Brown. 

**Ah — yes— jis so-— well," remarked Tooler at intervals, ^' anythin' 
brook?" 

** Nothm; couldn't ha' spilt on a softerer place." 

^ Wdl, that's a blessing anyhow !" said Tooler. ^^ Is the cooarch 
locked up safe T 

^ Locked oop !" cried John Brown, '^ noo ! she's standin' at the door 
here all ready to start." 

** I shaunt stor another step this blessed night if I know it," said 
Tooler, taking; his hat off and dashing it to the ground with the air of 
one whose mind, having been once made up, possessed the quality of 
being immutable. 



u 



84 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

^* What !" oxclaimed the gentleman in black, — ^^ but, no, no ; yon are 
jesting." 

In order to prove that nothing bearing even the semblance of a jest 
was intended, Tooler proceeded to pull off his shawl and box-coat while 
the passengers exchanged looks of utter amazement. 

^' My good man," continued the gentleman in black, ^' you surely do 
not mean to remain here ? come, eomey let us start." 

^' Here I am, and here I sticks," said Tooler firmly ; and after shaking 
his head, he unbuttoned his boot-straps — ^a process which caused the 
antique tops, which were as large as a pair of moderate-sized chimney 
pots, to fall upon his insteps tans eeremofiie. 

" I will not believe it," said the gentleman in black, *^ I cannot believe 
that you are serious ; come, come, coachman, come !" 

^' It doant siggerfy tawkin' a button," cried Tooler, '' we cam't get to 
Tarn noo to-night. 'Sides, if I was to break the wind of all my horses, 
I shouldn't be up afore twelve o'clock now, and what is the use o' that?" 
YoVd be able to do it by ten," said John Brown. 
And what's the use o' ten V enquired Tooler indignantly. *^ What's 
the use o' ten, when I ought to ha' bin in at six V 

^* I am a man of few words," said the gentleman in black, " a man of 
Tery few words ; and I beg you to understand that what I say I fully 
mean. I mutt be in London to-night, and therefore, if you are resolved 
on remaining here, I will post up to town, and make you or your pro- 
prietors bear the expense.' 

Having tremblingly delivered himself thus, the gentleman in black 
turned exceedingly white, and as he prepared to leave the room with 
the view of making certain necessary inquiriea, Valentine, assuming his 
voice, ordered seven large glasses of brandy and water, and rump-steaks 
and onions for nine. 

No sooner was this order given, than the whole of the domestic estab- 
lishment of John Brown was in an uproar. Dan was sent out for the 
steaks ; Mary was told to peel the onions ; Roger was directed to wipe 
the bars of the gridiron, and Sally was ordered to make the fire clear 
with salt, while the hostess herself mixed the brandy and water, and 
scolded all about her with due bitterness and force. 

While these preparations were making, the gentleman in black ascer- 
tained, to his unspeakable mortification, tnat there was not a single posting 
house within seven miles of the place. He, therefore, deemed it expe- 
dient to alter his tone, and having decided upon certain persoasive 
arguments, which he felt were too potent to fail, he returned to employ 
them as the hostess entered the parlour with the brandy and water on 
her best japanned tray. 

** Now, coachman," said he, ^* my dear man, do consider the inoon- 
venience of which this delay will be productive." 

" It's o' no use," sud Tooler, " it's o' no sort o' use. I cam't move 
from this ere blessed spot. It's unpossible. I amt no more power over 
them are four horses tlian a babby. I eamU drive, and now yow've the 
!ong and the short on't." 







ftWBtax^JUJJ 



.:,.,../. ,„J, .,„..„., ^;, 



VALENTINE VOX. 35 

» 

*^ O ! for that matter," cried Brown, " as I never am backard in comin 
forard to sarve a friend, I'll drive for yar.'* 

^^ You're a fool I*^ observed the hostess, in an audible whisper, at the 
same time tagging with great violence at John Brown's coat-tails, and 
giving him certain significant sidelong glances of great import, as afifect- 
ing his conjugal peaoe. John Brown, however, stiU persevered in ex- 
pressing the pleasure he should derive from the performance of this act 
of disinterested friendship; for although he in general held the hints of his 
spouse in high respect, and understood that in this particular instance 
sbe was actuated by a desire to make the most of a party, one of whom 
had been so liberal in his orders at the commencement, he regarded it as 
being by no means improbable that Tooler would be in consequence 
discharged, and that he would be put upon the coach aa his successor, 
-which l^ppened to be precisely what for several years he had been con- 
stantly on the look-out for. 

'^ But do you think sariously," said Tooler, after a pause, ^ that 
yow'd be able to get up by twelve I** 

^^ By twelve /" cried Jobn Brown. '^ If I don't get in afure the clock 
strikes tetij 111 be bound to be pisoned. Ony jist say the word, and 
whiles the ladies and gentlemen is a havin their snack, I'll be makia' 
myself a leetle matter tidy." 

^* Come, my good man ; youll agree to it, will you not — come V* said 
the e^tleman in black, in a tone irresistibly persuasive. 

" n dl, well," said Tooler, with evident reluctance, '^ have it as yow 
like;" and he proceeded to button up his boot-tops again, while Mary 
was carefully laying the cloth. 

The grand point being length settled, John Brown left the room, 
and the nostess, assisted by her handmaids in clean white aprons, placed 
the rump-steaks and onions upon the table. 

''*' Now if you please sir," said the hostess, bestowing one of her 
blandest smiles upon the gentleman in black, as she gracefully T)laced a 
cbair for him at the heM of the table. '^ Do'ee eat it while it's hot : 
there's some more inguns doin." 

^^ Not any for me, I thank you," said that gentleman with great 
politeness. *^ I have not the smallest appetite, I'll take a glass of 
sheiry and a biscuit." 

^* Oh ! do'ee eat a leetle," ursed the £Bhscmating hostess. ** It's done 
very beautiful Look'ce 1" added the tempter, as she took off the cover, 
and displayed a fine steak garnished with onions, the sight of which at 
once drew the rest of the. passengers towards the table. 

** Do have a bit with us sir, do !" cried the passengers in a chorus. 
** We shaU not enjoy it half so much without you." 

*• Why not, my good people ?" enquired the pastor. 

^^ 'Cause," replied the hostess, " you was kind enow to order it I" 

*^ /, my good woman 1" exclaimed the astonished gentleman, peering 
over his spectacles with a look of amasement. '^ I ordered, I V' 

^' In course sir, you did," replied the hostess, as the pleasing expression 
of her countenance vanished. 



36 LIFE ASD ADVBNTUIIKS OF 



• ^^Heacmt ! my good wwun," tejoined the pastor, ^ yon mnst Iiav« 
beeBdxQMnmg!" 

^ I 'peal to the gentlemen and bdies present," said the heeteea, 
^nvliether yon did n't oider sereo gUuses o' biandy-and-water, and 
finop-^Bteaks and ingona for nine." 

^^ Oh that's right enough," said one of the passengers, ^ tiiai iror the 
order ersacUy, yon doair t mean to go for to say as how it mm% mr, 
doyer?" 

^' Upon my honour, my good people," returned the pastor ; '^ bdieve 
niO) yon ¥nsre nerer more mistaken in yonr lives." 

" Not a hit on't," obeenred Tooler, ** I heerd yow myself." 

*^ Ood bless my sool ! Impossible ! impossible !*' cned the pastor^ aa. 
far strove with gieat etfergy of mind to asoertain what ssnteoee in the 
English language, bore the slightest rssemblanee in point of sonnd to 
^' seven glasses of brandy-and- water, and rump-steaks and onions for 
mne. 

**' Well, whether or no,*' observed the hostess, ^^ there's what was 
oiderod, and I 'spects to be paid for it at all events." 

*^ dome," said the farmer, who had occupied a seat at the back of the 
madt^ ^^ let's todde it together, for I feel rayther peckish," and he and 
Taleutine with two other passengns commenced; the restmodesdy 
keepins' aloof from the table, lest payment should be demanded of them 
respectively as a social matter of course. 

*'* Yow may as weU just have a mouthful as not," said the fiumer, 
^^ sin' yow do mean to pay all the same !" 

^^ Esally," observed the gentleman in black, ^* I am unconscious of 
having made such an arrangement." 

^* Well, well,** said Yalentme, in his natural voice ; '' suppose we 
compromise the matter, as there appears to be some slight misunder- 
standing on tiie subject : you settle for the steaks, and 111 pay for the 
farandy-and-water." 

^Wdl, coom, that's handsome I" cried the farmer, ^ and to show that 
I doon't wont to shirk from my share, why 111 be a couple o' bottles o' 
vrine»— -coom, what say yow noo ?" 

" I cannot, under the droumstanoe?, of course object to join yon," 
replied the pumled pastor ; ^^ but I must be permitted to say that those 
circumstances are in my ju^k;ment perfectly inexplicable ; I never in any 
case Uke to be poHtive ; I know that human nature is but human 
nature, and therefore cannot pretend to claim entire exemption from 
those weaknesses which form its distinguishing characteristics : I may 
be mistaken : I confess that I may ; mi I nevertheless hold it to be 
utterly impossible for any man to give such an order as that without 
knowing it." 

*' Oh ! 'pon my loife," said the former, " it's a posty ve foct." 

^' Of course TU not presume to dispute it," returned tlie pastor, whose 
scepticism on the point still developed itself strongly. **' All I can say 
is, that I am totally oblivious of the circumstance ; but if I did give the 
4«der, I bow to your decision." 



VALBMTIHS VOX. 37 

No aooner had this anangemoit been oonipleted^ than Ite paasdngexB 
who had before kept so modestly aloof, lost the whole of their mtevestoig 
difUdsttceu They mads tfaonselves pofecdy at heme^ and diow at onoe 
towaids the table, at the head of whidi of oooiae sat the geactleBiaii in 
black, who appeared to have boirowed, for that particular ocoarioB, the 
well trained appetite of an nntaned dephant* As all sodal distinctions 
were, for the time being, levelled, Tool«r was invited to join theai ■; bat 
although he tried with zeal to compete with the rest, his gastroDomio 
powers entirily deserted him. He ate scarcely anything, albeit the 
dish before him was one which on ordinary oocasicns be etpedaBj 
fiivoured. He experienced, howevtf, no difficulty in drinkuig. Of 
the wine and the brondy-and- water he partook freely, with the view of 
diowniag the unhallowed influence of Uie witch ; but the mone deepfy 
he dnudL, the more strongly did he feel, that thi^ influenoe was stiU in 
the ascendant. 

As soon as John Brown found the party had ordered all the spirits 
sad wine th^ were likely to order, he entered the xoom to announce 
the fact of his being ready, and to explain the expediency of an imrnndiate 
start. The bill was consequently called for on the instant, when the 
SBBodnt was divided as per agreement, and paid, and the passet^gers 
pnparad for the comj^ion of their journey. 

The noment, however, John entered the room, Valentine wss M^to 
suspect that he had some unfriendly design upon Tooler. Ho tberBfore 
'WBtdied him narrowly, and as his searching eye quickly discovered 
sufficient to confirm his suspicion, he resolved on thwarting the object 
of Mr. John Brown, by causing him to abandon his intention of 
performing the act of disinterested friendship proposed. 

Accordmgly Valentine at once left the room with the view of ascer- 
tainiog what means were available ; and as he saw the hostess standing 
with a butcher in the bar, whose conveisation touched the toughness of 
a certain lee of mutton, he awaited in the passage the arrival of John 
Brown. He had scarcely, however, decided the course to be pursued 
wlien John made his appearance, whip in hand. Valentine saw that 
no time was to be lost, and therefore, assuming the voice of the hostess, 
whispered loud enough to reach John's ear: ^' €k> now, my love, go ; 
and letum by-and-bye : you have nothing to fear ; John will not be 
back to-night !" 

*^ Indeed!" murmured John, starting back at the sound of an afbc- 
tionate kiss with which Valentine conduded. " Indeed !" he repeated, 
and bit his lips violently, and breathed with vehemence, as the 
group in the back ground pressed him towards tlie dooi^ and thus 
forced him to see the pride of his heart and home in conversation- with 
one who happened to be the identical butcher upon whom he had long 
looked with a peculiarly jealous eye. 

ValeBtsDB now kUt tik&i he had struck the right chord, for the com- 
plexion of John turned as pale as it could turn— that is to say, it turned 
tea palaPmssiaa blue, as the nearest approach to whiteness of which it 
was ci^pable, while his huge teeth rattled like a pair of castanets, and 
indeed his wholefrrame shook convulsively with passion pent up. Con- 



38 LIFE AMD ADYEHTVBMB OF 

tiaiy, however, to the expectation of Valentine, John, after tunung in 
the direction of the bar, hia flashing eyes, which appeared to piesoe the 
wooden partition with more &cility than could a pair of the brightest 
gimlets, conjured up all his courage, and mounted the box. The start 
was a &l8e one, for he dropped one of the reins and his whip at the same 
time. This, however, was soon remedied ; but they had not proceeded 
£ur before the attention of Tooler was drawn to the excited state of John's 
nerves. 

" A'n't yow been havin' a drop o' suffin extra V inquired Tooler, as 
they rolled from side to side. 

^'Not a drain !" replied John; and the coach gave another lunge. 
^* But the £eu^ of the matter's this," continued he, looking round to ascer- 
tain if they could be seen from his once happy home — '' the finct is, I 
feels so oncommon poorly, that I'm afeered I shan't be able to go much 
furder arter all." 

^' Wdl, give me the ribbons, then," said Tooler, who, feeling some- 
what better, began to be ashamed of his inactive position* *^ I can 
manage, I des say. Do yow go back — I'm obleedged to yer^ you know, 
all the same." 

'^ Well, if you think you eon drive," observed John. 

^^Why," interrupted Tooler, whose professional pride had been 
touched by that remark, ^^ if I can't do it better than that, I can't do it 
ataUr 

This was enough for John Brown. He pulled up on the instant ; and 
after apologising for his inability to perform his promise, alighted, with 
the view of acquiring that knowledge which would most grieve his 
heart, and of disturbing the development of the assumed illicit loves of 
his amiable spouse and the cold-blooded butcher. 

The moment, however, Tooler regained possession of the reins, the 
dreaded influence of the witch regained possession of his soul ; but Va- 
lentine, who had removed to the vacant seat on the box, did aU in his 
power to cheer him, and, as he firmly resolved to annoy him no more, 
he succeeded, after an infinite deal of persuasion, in inspiring him with 
the belief of its being an immutable ordinance of Nature, that the power 
of no witch should extend beyond the radius of forty miles. 



CHAPTER VII. 
nrmoDUCES orbat-uncle John's friend and his affectionate 

RELATIVES, WITH A KNIGHT OF A NEW ORDER, TWO INVISIBLE 
BURGLARS, AND ONE MOST REMARKABLE SWEEP. 

Mb. Grimwood Goodman, Great-Uncle John's friend, to whom 
Valentine had been consigned, was a gentleman possessed of some con- 
siderable wealth, derived chiefly from a series of successful speculations 
in sperm oil. He was remarkably thin — so thin, indeed, that his heart 



VALENTINE VOX. 39 

beat against hk bare ribs with an energy which alone might hare caused 
it to Be discovered that that organ is more insensible to feeling than to 
sight. If^ however, the heart of Goodman was — ^like the hearts of men 
in the aggregate— physically insensible, morally it was by far the most 
sensible of all the organs he possessed. A tear touched it acutely ; a 
tale of distress at once caused it to open : indeed, sorrow in any shape 
had but to approach, to find itself surrounded by feelings of benevolence, 
whidi caused it to dry up its natnral tears, and to shed those only of 
gratitude and joy. 

In stature, Grimwood Goodman — although he boasted with pride of 
having stood full six feet without his shoes when a private in the Loyal 
Yolunteers-^was, at the time of which we write, about five feet eight. 
He would never allow that he had sunk so many inches ; but he could 
not have been more, for he was able to walk under the six feet standard 
with hb military cap on without moving a hair. He had never been 
married. Hb relatives — the only relatives of whom he happened to have 
any knowledge, to wit, a brother, a nephew, and their wives — had disinter- 
estedly taken especial care of that, for in order that the idea of marrying 
might be effectually banbhed from his mind, he never visited them, nor 
did they ever visit him, without the occurrence of those interesting 
fiunily hroils with which the matrimonial state b occasionaUy enlivened. 
Not that hb brother and nephew lived unhappily with those whom 
they had respectively pledged themselves to love and to cherish : on the 
contrary, they enjoyed a greater share of domestic comfort than com- 
monly falls to the lot of married men ; but the arrangement between 
them was to appear to be steeped to the very lips in domestic misery 
whenever Grimwood happened to be present, with the view of deterring 
him from entering into that state of life to which certain maids and wi- 
dows had modestly called him. And the scheme proved effectual. He 
trembled at the thought of embarking in a business^ which they had 
led him to believe was extremely tempestuous at beit; for what deterred 
him more than all, was the earnest anxiety which they manifested on 
all occasions to convince him that, although they snarled, and frowned, 
and growled, and wished each other deac^ they in reality lived as hap* 
pily together, if not more happily, than married people in general. He 
therefore, having no sort of taste for the loving specimens of matrimo- 
nii felicity, which they so constantly placed before his eyes, kept aloof^ 
resolved firmly to live a life of single blessedness unto the end. 

Now, when these peculiarly a^tionate creatures heard that Valen- 
tine was coming to Ijondon, they were thrown, perhaps naturally, into 
a fevmsh state of alarm ; for, although they had never seen him, the 
accounts of ^^ the young wretch" which had reached them, had been 
ringularly flattering, and therefore they held him to be one who, by 
making a favourable impression on him in whom the whole of their 
expectations were concentrated, might ''rob" them, as they termed it, 
of some portion of that wealth, for which, through the medium of Grim- 
wood's death, they so ardently panted. They uierefore lost no time hi 
meeting, with the view of devising some scheme by which the loudest of 
their fears might be hushed, and as Mr. Walter Goodman had been 



iO LWE AKD ADYBNTURBB OF 

d^xited by his hrotiier Grimwood to meet Valentine at tlie Isn, it w«a, 
after a long ooneultaticMi, decided that he should repraaent himeelf to be 
Grimwood, aecnre Valentine in oertain private lod^f^js, and eventnaUf 
ttther piocuie for him a berth on board some man-of-war about to 
sail fer a foieiga station, or send him out as an adventure to seek his 
fortune abroa£ 

Aooordingly, Walter proceeded to the inn at the appointed time, 
while his hopeful son, Horace, prepared eveiything for Valentine's re- 
oeption-^it being arranged that the moment he arrived he should be 
hnrried away, and that when he had leached his new reeidenoe, Grim- 
Wood shoold be informed that he had not arrived at all. Fortunately, 
however, for Valentine, the coach was so late, that Grimwood, having 
despatched the pressmg business he had in hand, became seriously 
alarmed, and on eoing down himself to the inn, he insisted upon re- 
lieving brother T^lter from all responsibility, and, to the bitter mortifi- 
cation of that gentleman, waited in the co&e-room the arrival of the 
ooaoh. 

The design, however, of the affectionate family-party was not to be 
frustrated thus. No sooner had Grimwood determmed on waiting him- 
sdf than Walter started off to meet the coach, with the view of securing 
Valentine still ; while Grimwood was seated in the cofiee-room, drink- 
ing, without enjoyment, the pint of claret he had ordered, and mechani- 
oa&y reading the Times. Although his eyes were on the paper, his 
thoughts were on the coach, and he had just drank his last glass of 
wtne^ and began to marvel at the possibility of a man reading for hours 
without bringing his mind to bear upon any single sentence, when the 
clock struck ten. 

^^ Waiter," said he to a sleek, round-faced person in pumps, ^ this is 
very extraordinary — ^is it not V 

*^ Why, sir," replied that interesting person, who being extremely 
fussy, and unable to speak without using his napkin, commenced vriping 
the bottom of Groodman's glass with great energy. ^^ Why, sir, it is, 
sir, rayther, sir ; but not werry neither, sir, cos the down coachman's 
oomin up, sir, to-day, and he's always extroroary late." 

*' I fear that some serious accident has occurred," observed Goodman. 

^' Oh, no fear of that, sir ;" cried the fussy individual, who had com- 
menced operations upon the bottom of the decanter; ^'it*s all right 
enourii, sir : old Tooler's rather slow, but worry sure — I never knowed 
him, however, to be quite so late as this, I mus say." 

Relieved somewhat by the fact of the delay not being deemed under 
the circumstances Mry extraordinary, by the waiter, the old gentleman 
walked to the door of the inn-*-not exactly with the view of accelerating 
the arrival of the coach, but in order to speculate upon the probability 
of every vehicle that came in sight being the one for which he was so 
anxiously waiting. He had scarcely, however, taken his position on 
the threshold, when he saw brother Walter, followed by his bopefdl son, 
Horace, bustling about the place in a state of feverish excitement, and 
inquiring again and again of the porters at the gate if they were perfectly 
oertain uiat the coach had not arrived. 



VALwmras. vox. +1' 

*^ -Walter I Hoisoe!" ehoirted Grraiwood; and those geAHMnM C#r 
the momeiilBhtiak back at the sound ; but finding no means of escape, 
they approaohed, and after hHiesnn^y muttering something havii^g re- 
fevCTce t» theb astonishttent, ezprMed their coBTictioii that as the - 
evBDiog was oML, and as tiie coach might not come in till midnight^ tie 
had better go home and let one of them remain to take charge of Valen- ' 
tise whan he arrived. 

^* I oonnder it very kind of you, Walter and Horace," said Grimwood, 
takii^ both by the hand, '^ to manifest so much anxiety about one in 
whom I take an interest--*! shall not foiget it. However, he cannot 
be long new ; therefoie, let us wait together, and have a glass of mulled 
wine.' 

Both Walter and Horace tried liaid to be excused, bnt Grimwood 
resolved on aecurins ihem as firmly as if he had known the source from ' 
wluoh all their anxiety sprang. They had scaroely, however, taken their 
seats In the eoffee-room when the arrival of the coach was announced, 
and Ghimwood instantly left his affectionate relatives in order to reoerve 
Valentine in the yard. 

'' It's all up !*' said Walter, when Grimwood had left. «' What a ibol 
I was not to remain at the turnpike ; but, Lord, I made sure that th^ 
infienifll coaoh had passed." ' ' 

^^ / oooldn't imaffine what the devil was the matter," cried Hoface^ 
*^80 1 pelted down here like the devil to see." 

^^ Well, it's of no use now," observed Walter ; ^' we are completely 
done this time. But never fear, Horace," he eontmued, after a panse, 
^ we shall be able to manage it yet," and both father and son became 
mute. 

^ Your name, I believe, is Valentine Vox V* said Mr. Goodman, 
addressing the youth who had just alighted. 

*^ It is, returned Valentine. 

'^ My name is Goodman — I am happy to see you. I hope that you 
met with no accident on the road?*' 

*' Nothing of any very great importance," replied Valentine. 

^' Doant arks me any more questions," cried Tooler, as he strove to 
emerge firom the group of inquiring housekeepers and waiters, by whom 
he had been anxiously surrounded. ^^ It's o' no use—- blarm me if I 
9Xoi sick and tired o' the very thoughts on't. I have,'' continued he, 
addressing Goodman, ^^ to thenk this young genelman for gittin' up at 
alL If it hadn't ha' bin for he we shouldirtha done it to-night, any 
how." 

This remark had at once the effect of extorting five shillings irom 
Valentine instead of half-a-crown, and of creating a very favourable first 
imprsssion in the mind of Mr. Goodman, who, having seen the himage * 
secure, presented Valentine to Walter and Horace, who received nim 
with locks indicative of anything but delight. 

^* Nqw^ my young friend," said Mr. Goodman, taking Valentine ' 
aoaui by the hand and shaking it with much warmth, ^^I am so ^M' 
t^at you are safe ; you are faint and cold— *I know you are. Waiteir^' 



42 LIFB AND ADYENTURES OF 

cofiee for this gentleman ; — ^what on earth could have detained you ? 
But don't tell me now — you are fatigued. " 

'^ Not at all, I assure you,'' said Valentine, who felt himself perfectly 
at home with the old gentleman, although he viewed with an eye of 
suspicion the sinister looks of Walter and Horace. 

^^ Come, take a glass of wine," said the warm-hearted Goodman, 
who felt as highly delighted with Valentine as if he had heen his own 
son. ^' My dear boy I he continued, pressing the hand of his protege, 
and looking earnestly in his face, '^ God bless you 1" 

This was wormwood to Horace and his father. They could not con- 
ceal its effects, and therefore, after having addressed certain sneering 
observations to Valentine, who bowed without replying, they departed 
with the view of designing some viUanous scheme which might in- 
duce the revival of those hopes which appeared to them to be on the 
point of being blasted for ever. 

'' Well, now," said the old gentleman, when his relatives were gone, 
and Valentine appeared to be sufficiently refreshed, " come, tell me the 
cause of this extraordinary delay." 

Valentine gazed upon him earnestly and smiled. He was at first 
almost afraid to explain the real cause ; but the general expression of 
the old fi[entleman's countenance was so peculiarly &sciuating, that it 
quickly inspired him with confidence : he felt that he might trust him 
with the secret of his power, which might moreover be to him a source 
of constant amusement, and therefore, aiter a little hesitation, confessed 
that the delay was attributable solely to him, 

*' But," said Goodman, " I understood that had it not been for you, 
the coach would not have reached London to night." 

'* That is perfectly true," rejoined Valentine, ^' but it is also true 
that had it not been for me, it would have arrived here four hours at 
least before it did.'* 

*^ Indeed i" exclaimed Gi>odman with an expression of astonishment; 
and Valentine hesitated again ; but at length, £eeling certain that the 
opinion he had formed of Goodman's character was correct, he pro- 
ceeded to explain the whole of the. circumstances described in the fifth 
and sixth chapters of this history — the relation of which caused the old 
gentleman to be so irrepressibly convulsed, that his contortions alone 
were sufficiently ridiculous to excite the mirth of all present, and at 
length the room rang with peals of sympathetic laughter. 

"Now — ^now — my dear boy," observed Goodman, the very mo- 
ment he had regained sufiicient command over his muscles, *' be sure 
that you tell tbus to no one. We shall have such amusement ! But 
keep it, my boy, mind keep it a secret." And here he was seized with 
another fit of merriment in which the whole room again most ridiculously 
joined, while Valentine congratulated himself on tlie manner in which 
he had been received by his warm-hearted patron. 

As soon as the frame of Grim wood Goodman became capable of 
assuming the semblance of tranquillity, ho began to manifest impatience 
to witness the effect of that which appeared to him still to be almost 



VALENTINE VOX. 43 

impossible. He therefore strongly urged Valentine to give him a 
specimen on the spot, and as Valentine felt that he would be too much 
amazed for the moment to indulge in those loud bursts of laughter 
which might tend to create suspicion, he consented to do so at once, 

^ But, be careful, my dear boy, be careful," said Goodman. 

*' Oh I there is not the slightest danger of discovery. — Waiter !" 
said Valentine, throwing his voice into a l)oz in which two extremely 
stout individuals were eating deviUed kidneys. 

^^ Yes, sir,'' cried the person in pumps, throwing his napkin under 
his arm, and approaching the box in question. 

'* Waiter !" said Valentine, assuming a voice which appeared to pro- 
ceed from the box opposite. 

^*' Yes, sir !" repeated the waiter, turning round on ascertaining that 
that party had no orders. 

*' Waiter !" cried Valentine in precisely the same voice as at first. 

^^ Yes, sir !" exclaimed the sleek functionary returning, '* you call 
sir? 

^' No," said the gentlemen, ^' we did not call." 

^ Waiter !" shouted Valentine, throwing his voice to the other end 
of the room, to which end he of the pumps of course inunediatdy 
pelted. « 

** Now, where is that bottle of port V cried Valentine, bringing the 
voice about half way back. 

*' Beg pardon, sir, I'm sure, sir," said the waiter addressing the per- 
son from whom he imagined the sound had proceeded, '^ did you order 
a bottle of port, sir ?" 

'^ No," said the person addressed, I'm drinking negus." 

^' Waiter !" shouted Valentine with all the force of which he was 
capable. 

^' Yes, Sir !" cried the waiter with corresponding energy, and again 
he followed the sound, and continued to follow it until Valentine 
ceased, when the knight of the napkin, whose blood began to boil, 
approached the fire and poked it with all the power at his command. 

^ Jim !" cried Valentine, sending his voice up the chimney, while 
the waiter was taking his revenge — *'*' get up higher : I*m roasting." 

'^ Hush !" said Valentine, assuming the voice of '^ Jim," who ap- 
peared to be half-choked. '' Hush ! — don't speak so loud." 

The waiter who still grasped the instrument of his vengeance with 
one hand, raised the ouier to enjoin silence, and walked on tip-toe 
towards the bar, from which in an instant he returned with the land- 
lord, the hostess, the barmaid, the boots, and in fitct nearly the whole 
of the members of the establishment, who crept with the utmoet care 
upon their toes towards the fire, when Valentine conducted the fol- 
lowing interestmg conversation between ^^Jim" and '^Joe^" in the 
chimney. 

*^ It s flaming hot here^ Jim, but there — that'll do. Did you ever in 
your horn days see sich a fire ?" 

^ Hold on a bit, Joe ; our sweat 11 soon damp it." 



ii ^ 



44 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

'^ I wish he as poked it was in it." 

^' Oh that would'ot do at any price. His fat 'ud blaze to sich a 
hextent, it 'ud do us brown in no time.*' 

The landlord approached. '^ So weVe caught you at last then, you 
blackguards. Hollo V cried he, peering up the chimney. 

" Hush !" said the invisible Jim. 

*' Aye, y<m may say hush," said the host, ^^ but you're trapped now, 
my tulips : come down — d'ye hear ?" 

The tulips did not condescend to reply. 

^' Here tferry," continued the host, '^ run out for the pcrficeman," and 
Jerry, of course, ran with all possible speed. . 

^^ You'd better come down there you wagabones," cried the landlord. 

^' Hezcuse us," said Jim, ^' you are worry perlite." 

^' If you don't, I'll blow you bang through the pot !" cried the land- 
lord. 

^^ You haven't enough powder," said the invisible Joe. 

The policeman here entered, and bustling up to the grate, shouted 
now, young fellows, come along, I wants you." 

^^ I)o you, said one of the young fellows. 
'. ^'It's o' no use, you know," cried the policeman, who held his 
authority to be -contemned, and his dignity insulted, by that tnin^uil 
lemsfk. ^' You'd better come at once, you know, my rum ims." 

*^ That's werry good advice, I des-say," said one of the rum uns^ 
*' ony we doesn't think so." 

^^ Why, it taint o' no use," urged the policeman, ^'you an't got a 
ha'porth 6' chance. Here, give us hold of a stick or a broom," said 
he to the waiter, and the chambermaid ran to fetch one, when another 
policeman entered, to whom the first said, ^^ Smith, go and stand by 
them ere chimley pots, will yer," and accordingly up Smith went with 
the boots. 

^ Now then,'' said the poKceman, having got a long broom, ^ if yoa 
don't come down, my crickets, in course I shaU make you, and that's all 
about it." 

In reply to this acute observation, one of the ^^ crickets" indulged in 
a contemptuous laugh, which so enraged the policeman, that he on the 
instant introduced the long broom up the chunney, and brought down 
of eourse a sufficient quantity of soot to fill an imperial busheli measure. 
This remarkable descension, beinff on his part wholly unexpected, 
caused him to spit and sneeze wiUi considerable vehemence, while hia 
face was sufficiently black to win the sympathies of any regular philan- 
thropist going. 

'* Now then, you sirs !" shouted Smith from the top; '' Do you mean 
to come up or go down ? Ony say !" 

As soon as the first fit of sneezing had subsided, tfie policeman below 
was just about to ^ve vent to the indignation which swelled his official 
breast, when he was seized with another, which in its effects proved &r 
more violent than the first. 

^^ €kx>d luck to you," said he on regaining the power to speak, *^give 
OS something to wash it down, or 1 shaU choke. It 'U be all the 



T^ 



VALENTINB VOX. 45 

wone for you, my kids, when I gets yon. Do you meftn to coine down 
now 1 tJka^t all about it. It's o' no use, yon know, for in coufBe we 
don't leaye you. Once for aU, do you mean to come down V^ 

^ Yon are ^eeny perlite,'' replied one of the kids, *^ but we'd much 
rayther not.'' 

^^Why then," said the constable in cUsgnise, who as fiir as the 
makinff up of his face was concerned, appeared perfectly ready to mur- 
der Othdlo^^*'*' in course we must make you." 

As this obseryation on the part of the policeman, was followed by 
another contemptuous laugh, that respectable functionary became so 
indignant that he entertained thoughts of achieving their annihilation 
by virtue of fire and smoke. While, however, he was considering 
whether a jury under the circumstances would bring it in justifiable 
homicide, manslaughter, or murder, it was suggested that as there lived 
in the neighbourhood an extremely humane and intellectual sweep, who 
having become particularly knock-kneed in the profession, and peculiarly 
alive to the hardships which the corrupt climbmg system inflicted upon 
the sooty seneiation in general, had a machine which was patronised 
by the nobuity and gentiy, and which might in this instance have the 
eflfect of accelerating the process of ejectment. For this remarkable 
master-sweep, therefore, boots was despatched, while the policeman, 
bent upon a wicked waste of coab, endeavoured to persuade the in- 
visibles to descend by making the fire blaze with a fury which a oouple 
of young sakimanders only could stand. 

Nothmg, however, beiurine the similitude of bhoes could bring the 
burglars down, and just as Valentine's guardian />ro tern, was declaring 
that he must dther laugh loudly or burst, a stout stumpy man, who 
stood about five feet five, upon legs to which nothine stands recorded 
in the annals of legs, at all comparable in point of obfiquity, was led in 
by boots, with the machine on his shoulder, and at once assumed the 
air of an individual conscious of the immaculate character of his motives, 
and of the general integrity of his professional reputation. 

*^ I understand," said he, bowling with all the importance of which a 
master sweep is comfortably capable towards the fire — " I understand 
that you have certain burglarious burglars up the flue. Well I as the 
integral integrity of this glorious and empirical empire demands that all 
nch dishonest thieves should be brought when caught to the barrier of 
judicial justice, ergo, tliat is for to say, consequently, therefore, they 
mu8t descend down, and this 'U brine 'em ! It was never known to 
ftil," he added drawing forth a huge Dread-andnsheese knife to cut the 
cord which bound the machine together, ^* in any think successfully 
attempted. It is pattermsed by the titled nobility, and clerical clergy 
in oly orders, besides the official officers of the lo3ral household, and the 
principal aristocratic members of the aristocracy in high life, and ought 
to be known in every particle of the globe and her colonies. It was 
ony t'other day as I was called in to hoperate upon the chimbleys of one 
of our tip topmost dukes, a great agricultural proprietor of landed pro*- 
perty, and a petickler friend of mine, wot had heered from some vaga- 
bone wot I holds worry properly in contemptuous contempt, that my 



46 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

machine had turned out a dead foilure. * So/ says he, when I'd done 
the job, ^ Shufflebottom,' sajs he, * youre a werry ill-used man, a hindi- 
widual wot's werry much respected uniwersally by all, and therefore, 
it's a werry great |nty that you should be sich a wictim of misre- 
presentation/ * Why,' says I, ' my lord duke, you knows werry well 
as how I treats all sich wi^bones with suitable contempt. But 
I'm obleeged to you my lord duke, and I feels wenry gratefol as I alius 
does feel for any favor as is showed, and I alius Tikes to return it 
too, 'specially if them as shows it puts themselves you know weny 
much out of the way in the most friendliest spirit) and has their motives 
in consequence suspected." 

" Well, come," said the host intemiptiog this remarkable sweep, who 
displayed a disposition to go on for an hour, ^' let us see if we can get 
these rascals out of the flue." 

Shufflebottom marvelled at this un^entlemanlike interruption, but 
after hurling a look of contempt at the illiterate landlord, he introduced 
the head of his machine into the chimney, and sent it up joint by joint. 
Of course, during its progress a considerable quantity of soot descended, 
but when the brush had reached the pot, the policeman above grasped 
it firmly, ooncdving it to be the rough hair of one of the burglus, and 
pulled it completely out of Shufflebottom's hand. 

^* The blaggards is at top !" cried ShufBebottom loudly. ^* They 've 
stole my machine ! — go, go upon the roof !** 

^' Come with me," said the policeman, but as Shufflebottom had not 
sufficient courage for that, the policeman and boots, went up together 
with the view of rendering all necessary assistance. On reaching the 
roof, they of courae discovered the cause of great Shufflebottom's alarm, 
and having sent his machine down the chimney again, descended with 
the view of deciding upon some other course. It was the conviction of 
the policeman above, that no burglars were in the chinmey at all, for 
he himself had been nearly sufibcated by simply looking from the top ; 
but as this very natural idea was repucUated as monstrous by all below, 
Shufflebottom in the plenitude of his humanity, suggested that a sack 
should be tied tightly over the pot, in order that the invisible burglars 
might be stifled into an unconditional surrender. As this appeared to 
be decidedly the most efiectual way of oompelliuff them to descend, the 
policeman urged it strongly, and as the host did oy no means object to 
its adoption, orders were given for the sack to be tied over at once. 

This humane and ingenious operation had scarcely been performed, 
when the room was of course filled with smoke, and in less than three 
minutes, every soul had departed with the exception of the policeman 
and Shufflebottom the sweep, who soon deemed it expedient to crawl 
out on their hands and> knees to avoid snflbcation. 

Valentine and his guardian, with several other gentlemen, repaired to 
the bar, when orders were given for the removal <^ the sack, and on its 
betUff decided that when the smoke had evaporated, one policeman 
should remain in the room, and another on the roof of the house all. 
ttiglif, a coach was ordered, and €h)odman with his ohaige prooeeded 
home irrepressibly delighted with the evening's entertainment. 



VALENTINE TOX. 47 



CHAPTER Vm. 

THS OOHSULTATION OF AN INTBBBBTINO FAMILY PARTY, AT WHICH IT 
IS PSCIDBD THAT 80MBTHINO MUBT BS 2K>NIS. 

'^ Well, my love!*' exclaimed the affectionate Mis. Goodiaan, as^ 
Waiter and his son entered the room, in which she and Mrs, Horace had ' 
beeo anxiously waiting — " we have heen in such a way you can't thinki 
for Julia would have it you had failed." 

** She was right," muttered Walter, sinking into a chair heavily. 

^^ Bight!" cned Mrs. Goodman. ^' What, have you not secured the 
young wretch ? Horace ! tell me?" 

Horace shook his head. 

*^ Ah!" — said the old lady, playfully patting the cheek of Walter, and 
giving him a series of matrimonial kisses — '^ he has not arrived." 

'' Bat he has," cried Horace, '^ and Uncle has got him !" 

The old lady sank into her chair. 

^ Dear me !" said Mrs. Horace, who bad derived a latent feeling of 
aatisfiiction from the circumstance of her having predicted a failure, 
*' how could you have been so stupid ?" 

Horace explained, and the old lady wept, and Walter pulled his boots 
off with desperate violence. 

^^ Then you did see the wretch ?" said the old lady spitefully. 

*^ Of course," returned Horace. 

*^ What iori of a creature is he?" enquired the junior Mrs. Goodman. 

'^ Why, I don't know," said Horace, '^ a sort of a rakish-looking 
scamp. What struck me more than all was his eye." 

^^ Has he but one?" cried the old lady, somewhat revived. 

*' Not exactly," returned Horace, " he has two — " 

" And they are odd ones V interrupted the old lady with confidence^ 
which seemed to be teeming with pleasure. 

^' They are," replied Horace, ^' the oddest eyes that ever looked 
through a man: such piercers! They'd dart through the dome of St. 
Paul's or the earth, and see what was goine on at our antipodes. Hed 
make the money fly! — he'd show the world how to spend it, if he ever 
had the chance." 

The mere mention of money had the effect of arousing Walter from 
the lethargy into which he had fallen. He drew at once towards the 
table, and having placed his arms deliberately upon it, said iinnly and 
emphatically, ^^ oomethinff must be done. I saw," contiaued he, after 
a pause, ^* the impression the young scamp had made upon Grimwood. 
I watched them both narrowly, and when I perceived the extreme 
warmth with which Grimwood grasped his hand, and looking earnestly 
in his fince^ said, ' My dear boy — ^God bless you !' — I could not but 
feel that the boy — the dear boy-^stood a very fur chance of becoming 
his heir." 

" Great Heaven forbid !" exclaimed Mrs. Goodman, senior, turning 
up the yellows of her blood-shot eyes^ and throwing one of her anna 



49 LTFB AMO ADTBNTUIIBB OF 

fovad ilie delioate vodk of the amiablo Mrs. Qoodman, junior, to exfnm 
•ffeciioiii while. the other was laised as far above her head as possible; 
in order to express the highest pitch of surprise. *' His heir I Gt>od 
Qnuious! What are his daimsf — his pretensions? What is the rela- 
tionship eicisting between them ? What right has he to rob ns of any 
portion of that which by every law of nature belongs to us alone V 

To this interesting string of interroflatories Wslter replied sknpiy hy 
remarking, that none were ever robbed by right. ^* The question to be 
oonsider^" said he, ^' does not apply to the natural right of the oner 
it has referenoe solely to the legal power of the other.'^ 

^* But what a monstrous shame it is/' said Mrs. Gk>odman, '^ that a 
man should have the power to leave his property to any but hib 
relatives r' 

'' It is useless to talk about that,'' observed Walter. ^ He Aiw the 
power, and that's sufficient. The question is, how is the exercise of 
that power to be in this case prevented ?' 

^' 6ut Uncle may not intend to do any thing of the kind," said tlie 
junior Mrs. Goodman. 

^' Mi^ not !" cried Walter. ^' He may not ; but what if he should? 
What if he were to leave every shilling to this fellow : where then should- 
we be ? Why instead of living in affluenee as we ou^ki to live, we 
should be at once reduced to a state of destitution." 

*' Aye, that is the point, dear," said Mrs. Ooodman, senior. *' Just 
look at that ! For my part I tremble to think on't." 

^^ Dut do you think it likely," observed the junior Mrs. Gk>odman, 
" that Uncle has the heart to behave so unkindly ?" 

*' There's no telling, child," replied Walter. '* If he happen to take 
a fimcy to this boy, ne may make him the inheritor of all ; and if be 
should, my pitiful income from the stamp office of 200/. a-year will be 
all that we shall have to exist upon ; and that, when I go, will go too. 
I must, however say, what I have said a thousand times, that if Horace 
had played his cards well he might have been a greater favowrite off- 
Grimwood than he is." 

'' Why, what could I do with the old buck ?" cried Horace, smoking 
a black cheroot with unequivocal desperation. 

*« Do I" replied Walter. ^* Why, you should have endeavoured on all 
occasions to please him." 

'^ Well, I have!" shouted Horace, ^^ I have tried just as hard as afiy 
fellow could try, and he wouldn't be pleased. Haven't I asked him> 
fifty times to go with me to the masquerade ? — didn't I bite the best 
part of BullheiuL's tail clean off when he had fast hold of the old boy*a 
boot ? — and when I pitched him into the water the day they rowed iot 
the silver sculls, didn't I hook him out a«iin like a Whiteohapel 
needle? And yet I'm no favourite because I've not played my cards 
weUl" 

^' Yon have not gone the right vnty to work," rqjmned Walter. 

^' Why, what would he have ?" shouted Horace in a rage. *^ Wfaatf!s- 
tbe use of blowing me up about it ? If he won't be pleased^ bow eaii 
I make him ? I've done all I could, and if he don't like me^ why he 



VALBNTINB TOX. 49 

do the otlMT thing." And Hoiaoe, finding the cheroot during his 
speeeh had ffone ont^ t&ew it indignantly into the fire, and proceeded 
to light anoui^. 

*^ Well, well,*' said the aenior Mrs. Goodman, ** it is useless to dwell 
upon that subject now. What's done can't be undone, and therefore 
we should turn our thoughts to what we have to do." 

"" Something must be done," repeated Walter, *' and soon. The will 
is in our &¥our now. I know it : I have seen it. How, then, are we 
to keep him from altering that will ?" 

^ Yes, that is the question : that's just the very point," observed 
Mis. Goodman senior. '' It would be such a very dreadful thing, if, 
after having tried so hard all these years to secure it, we should be 
robbed of it, just as his constitution 's breaking up. I'm sure none 
oooid have taken more pains than we have : none could have taken 
more trouble to earn it. Heaven knows it has cost us a world of 
anxiety. We could not have watched him more loosely than we have, 
if the' sum had been fifty times as much as it is. That's impossible. 
He has been our thoughts by day, and our dreams by night. He has 
never been out of our heads, and therefore the idea of being robbed of it 
at last is quite shocking." 

^ Let's persuade the old boy," observed Horace, ^'that he can't 
expect to sleep very quiet when he's gone, unless he leaves the whole of 
his blunt to those who have the greatest right to it." 
" Pooh !" said Walter, contemptuously. *' Grimwood's no fool !'^ 
^ W^ I'm sure," remarked the senior Mrs. Goodman, ** that he 
ought to be made to feel that he cannot be so happy." 

^ Of course he ought," said Horace ; ^* and that's just the way the 
old boy's to be walked over, too I Why, look at old Thingermybob 
there-^what's his name ? — Sniggers I — he had left nearly the whole of 
his dubs to build a jolly lot of alms-houses, for a crew of old women 
that didn't belong to him at all. Well, what did his son Harry do 
when be heard of it ? Why, he no sooner found that he was to be 
pennoned off at so much a-month, than he sent old Fizgig ther^— < 
oinipkinson— to talk about the old buffer's ghost, and the result was 
that Harry got it all" 

^ Well, look at the late Mr. Lucas," said the senior Mrs. Goodman, 
in order to give an additional illustration of the position assumed: ^He 
had very eorrectly left the whole of his property to his relatives ; but 
no sooner did he connect himself with GantaJl's congregation, than 
Cbntall ffot hold of him, and worked upon his feelings to a degree which 
iadnoed nim in the first place to build a new chapel and a large house 
adjoining, and in the next, to will them, with the whole of his other 
property, to him who had thus poisoned his mind, and now, while tlie 
Ckntalls are lolling in the lap of luxury, the relatives of Lucas are 
starving." 

*^ To be sore," said Horace, lighting another very black cheroot. 
^^ And as the old boy's not always exactly wide awake, he's to be got 
o^m just in the same way. Only make him believe that if he should 
he guilty of so dirty and disreputable a swindle, hb jolly old ghost will 

a 



50 LIFE AKD ADTEMTUBBS OF 

cut abont in a modi unoomfortable state of excitement from geneialkn 
to genemtion, and we shall nail him as dead as a herrinff.^ 

^ And you think that he wouldn't see through it?" said Walter, 
with a sneer. 

*' Not if the thing were managed properly/* replied Horace. ** It 
wouldn't of course do exactly for me to pitch the blarney, because I 
might come it a little too strong ; but a fellow with a serious phiz, like 
old Neversweat— what's his name ? — ^he who sits behind the block bar- 
nacles perched upon the stool next to yours— the fellow who won't die, 
you know, although aware that you have been waiting about a couple 
of generations for his shoes." 

*• What Coggle V suggested Mrs. Goodman senior. 

" Aye, that s the cove — Coggle : a venerable out-and-out old fool, 
now, like that, who never had above half a laugh in him, would be able 
to do the trick in no time." 

*' Pooh ! nonsense !" cried Walter. 

^' Well, there could be no hann, you know," said Horace, ^^ in trpng 
it on !" 

" I tell you," said Walter, " it is not to be done in that way." 

" In what other way is it possible to do it ?" enquired Horace. 

Walter Goodman either could not or would not explain ; but afber 
supper this really interesting fomily party separated with the mutual 
understanding that somethiko must be done. 



CHAPTER IX. 



VALENTINES VISIT TO THE HOUSE OP COMMONS. 

Neither Walter nor Grimwood could sleep during the night, but Oh ! 
from what opposite causes ! It were curious and interestrag doubtless 
to enquire how many causes are capable of producing the same efifeet; 
but as the subject need not be long dwelt upon here, it will be perhape 
quite sufficient to explain that while Walter was engaged in concocting 
certain intricate schemes of villany, Grimwood, delighted with the 
almost unbounded prospect of happiness which had opened before him, 
lay stretched in the unrestrained indulgence of those pleasing anticipa^ 
tions which sprang from the conception 'of innumerable scenes that 
crowded to tickle his vivid imagination. 

Having vnshed for the morning all night, night avenged itself by 
introducing morning just as Grimwood had begun to wish morning at a 
distance. His head, however, continued to stick to its pillow with all 
the tenacity of the polypus until he heard the church clock strike «feeen, 
when he rang for his water, and rolled out of bed. 

Now Valentine, who had slept like a dormouse all night, and whose 
usual hour for rising had been mat, could not understand this eleven 
o'clock business at all. He had been five hours awake, and was as 



VAI«BNTINB VOX. 51 

kuigiy as a wolf; but as Grimwood's last injunction the previous 
nisht had been, ^^ do not get up on any account until you are called^" ha 
mL bound to act in obedience to that injunction, and to await the call 
with all the Christian patience he could muster. For the first tluree 
hoars he amused himself tolerably well by endeavouring to understand 
what the fellows had to dispose o^ who kept continually bawling out, 
** Yar sto !" '" Meyare mickrell!" " clo! cloT' " weep!" " ool ar rowin 
an ool ar' lowin !*' and &om nine o'clock tiU ten he listened attentively 
to the strains of a barrel oigan with a remarkably shrill whistling 
accompaniment ; but when he heard the clock strike eleven^ he fiwdea 
he might as well give the thing up. He had, however, no sooner 
turned upon his side to comi>ose himself, if possible, far another 
n^ht's rest, than he heard the knock of Grim wood, who had come to 
enquire if he would like to have breakfast in bed. The very knock was 
sufficient. He felt himself free ; and having answered the question in 
the negative, proceeded to dress with all possible speed. 

His reception in the parlour was most ardent. The delighted old 
gentleman pressed his hand again and again, and during breakfast 
reviewed the occurrences of the previous evening with rapture. 

^' Well now, my dear boy," said he, when Valentine had satisfied 
his appetite, ^' what shall we do to-day?" 

" I have but to write home," returned Valentine, ^^ and then I am 
entirely at your disposal." 

'^ You have never," said Goodman, ^* been in the Commons? of 
course, you have not. Would you like to go V 

" Exceedingly," returned Valentine. 

^ Well then, remember me at home; seal your letter; and we'll call 
upon a member who will take us to-day, I have no doubt." 

Accordingly, an early dinner was ordered, and Valentine and his 
guaidian. proofed without delay to the residence of a highly distin- 
guished member of parliament. 

Valentine's spirit had never been broken. His tongue had never 
kamt to assume the accents of a slave, nor had his soul been taught to 
dirink from the presence of a man, however high might be his station in 
society, or however severe and piercing might be his glance. He did, 
however, feel in some slight degree tremulous on entering the house of 
this eminent senator, of whom he had frequently heard, whose speeches 
be had frequently read, and whom he knew to have been distinguished 
fior years in a place in which pretenders so soon find their level. 

Conceive then his astonishment on being ushered into the sanctum of 
this eminent personage, vvhose indefatigable exertions he had heard so 
many curse, when, instoid of beholding in a magnificent Ubrary, studded 
with richly bound volumes, a stately individual enveloped in a long 
flowing robe, with whose splendour the carpet alone might be com- 
parable, he saw a stout common looking person in a singularly short 
jacket, whose tightness developed to perfection a tremendous swells 
po9t0r^frij perched upon a stool with liis toes dangling down within 
half a daayen inches of a piece of old oil cloth, which as some sort of an 
a|Hili)^y fur a carpet had been nailed to the floor. 



52 LIFB AND APTKNTURBB OF 

•At fii«i) Valentiiie natumlly imagined that the oreatuve whom he 
htheli was the senator's bu^er, for he saw that he was anxiously 
casting up, what he felt might be the baker's account, and was just on 
the pomt of concluding, that if the consumption of the family were not 
immcDse, the baker gave yery long credit, when the person in questioB 
said, ^Seventy-nine — ^nine and carry seven, how are you?- --nine — 
seven, how do V And he cocked a stumpy pen into hu month, and 
ttctendiiig his inky hand, added, ^^ Glad to see you: what can I do for 
you?" 

'^ We want to go to the House to-night," said Goodman« 

^ Yes; will you call for me, or meet me in the lobby V 

" Tfe may as well meet you.'' 

*^ I shall be down at a minute to four. Oood day." And Qoodman, 
who seemed to eapect nothing more, dragged Valentine out of the 
Studio as the senator muttered in a sonorous wobble, ^' Seven: seven 
nine sixteen, twenty-four, thirty-one, forty, forty-six, fifty-two, sixty* 
seven, seventy-six, eighty, eighty-three," and was thus going on witli 
amazing rapidity, when the door closed and shut in the sound. 

^' Is that the man?" said Valentine, when he had got fairly out. 

** It is*«the very man !" replied Goodman. 

**Well, I shouldn't have supposed it possible," said Valentine, who 
had still in his mind's eye the singular jacket, and that which it set off 
to so much advantage. 

** You will see him in a different character to-night," observed Good- 
man. ;;He has somethmg important to eflFect, T can see by his 
manner. 

Without being impressed with any elevated notions having reference 
to the style and address of a British senator, by the eminent specimen 
whom he had seen, Valentine was led by his guardian towards home, 
ftom which, after having had a somewhat hasty dinner, they proceeded 
at once to the House. 

It wanted precisely a quarter to four when Goodman and his charge 
passed Westminster Hall, and as the eminent statesman who was about 
to introduce them was certain to be neither a moment before nor 
a moment behind the time appointed, they continued to walk opposite 
the Abbey, endeavouring to discover in the countenances of the various 
members who approached the House, something indicative of extraor* 
dinary talent, until, finding that they were within one minute of the 
time, they walked through a room, in which they saw two functionaries, 
who looked as if the mending of an additional pen would very seriously 
annoy them, and thence into a passage, in which were several hundred 
hooks, from each of which was suspended a piece of dirty pasteboard, 
on which the name of some honourable member was written. 

They had scarcely reached the stairs at the end of this passage when 
the statesman whom they had seen in the morning arrived. He had 
exchanged his short jacket for a yellow waistcoat and a blue coat with 
gilt buttons ; and having hurried them up, he went into a room in which 
sat a select committee, tlie members of which were immediately in- 
formed that the speaker was at prayers. From this room they pro- 



TAL8KT1NB y€fX. 53 

eeeded atonce into the Houses aad when thek guide had placed tbem 
upon an elevated seat near the entranoe, they began to look around 
them. 

*' And is this the British House of Commons V thought Valentine ; 
^'Con it be possible that these are our stateamen ?'' 

Whatever surprise the dimensions of the House, or the mean appear* 
anoe of its members,' might tend to create, he felt that, as there could be 
too doubt about the matter, he might as veil direct the whole of his 
attention to what was going forward. 

In the first place, the speaker cried ^' Order, order I order at the table ! 
order, order !" and a mob of honourable members who had been stand- 
ing round the table, immediately repaired to their seats. It was 
interesting to Valentine to behold the respect which the members paid 
the speaker. When seated, they kept their hats on ; but if they moved 
but a yard, they pulled them off, and replaced them the moment they 
were seated again ; and if they passed from one side of the House to U»e 
other, they bowed to the chair as they passed, if they went over ev^i 
but for an instant. 

When a spare individual, who sported a court-dress, and whose only 
occupation appeared to be that of bowing profoundly, and cuiying a 
maoe, which was nearly as large and as heavy as himself, had been trot- 
ting about for some time behmd the bar, ^^ Order, order V was called 
again ; and a certain bundle of parchment having been placed in the 
hand of the speaker, he gave a brief, a very brief description of its title, 
and then observed, ^'This bill be read second time many's 'pinion say 
'Aye cent pinion s'no The Ayes have it — this bill be committed many's 
'pinion say Aye cont 'pinion s'no the Ayes have it ;" without the 
members saying either Aye or No— or attending, in fact, to the matter 
at all! 

The speaker then called the name of an extremely spectral personage, 
who, albeit the eldest son of a duke, looked as if he had lived all his life 
upon chips, and who shuffled up to the table, in remarkably short nan- 
keen trousers, which scarcely reached that part of his leg at which 
Nature had intended to ^^stablish a calf. He had a petition to present^ 
and in describing its character, displayed as much eloquence as Demos- 
thenes ever could display, before he had recourse to the pebbles. ^^ Laid 
upon the table," said the speaker ; and a stout led-faced man at once 
crushed it together, and threw it under the table, as a matter of oourse, 
when the noble earl by whom it had been presented returned to his seat, 
and having cocked upon his head an extremely small hat, put his left 
leg carefully over his right, with the air of a man conscious of having 
done all in his power to promote the peculiar objects the petitioners had 
in view. 

*^ 8ergeant !*' cried the speaker, when this job had been jobbed ; and 
tlie individual in the court-dress bowed three times during his progress 
towards the table, when, taking up the nxace, which had been placed 
there, bowed three times during his backward retreat, and having said 
something to a couple of masters in Chancery, who were the bearers of 
a cottple of documents from the Lords, he and they walked abreast ; to 



54 LIFE AKD ADTENT0RE0 OF 

the bar, wben they took fowr steps, and then bowed like a leash of 
Mandarins, then took fonr steps more, and again bowed, and then 
another couple of brace of steps, which brought them up to the table, at 
which they bowed again, when, after mumbling somediing having le- 
ference to something, and putting the documents down, they walked- 
backwards four steps, and then bowed, tlien took four steps more^ and 
bowed again, when, by way of a finish, they made four stq)s more, and, 
haying bowed, turned round, and rushed out of the House laughing. 

This proceeding appeared to Valentine to be supremely ridiculous, but 
what tended in some degree to neutralize his disgust was the faet, that 
not only were the masters in Chancery afraid to walk backwards, with- 
out looking behind to see if anything happened to be standing in the 
way, but the person in full dress, whom Valentine ascertained to be the 
deputy-sergeant, was compelled to retreat, just as if he had been bimdy 
from his birth, because he could not persuade his sword to keep from 
between his legs. Despite, therefore, every other feeling whicn this 
ceremony might naturally tend to create in one utteny incapable 
of perceiving its great national importance, Valentine could not repress 
a smile, and the moment he had arrived at the conclusion that neither a 
sergeant* at-arms, nor a deputy-sergeant, nor a master in Chancery, 
could do the thing well without having served an apprenticeship to a 
rope-maker, ^^ Order!" was again called; and then the name of 
a certain honourable member, who at once rose to direct the at- 
tention of the House to the continued existence of a certain abuse, 
with the bearings of which Valentine was not profoundly oon^ 
versant. 

The style of this honourable member was inflexible — his voice loud 
and sonorous. He had a certain provincial accent, which, to a refined 
ear, had a tendency to counteract the effect of whatever eloquence he 
might possess, and he assumed tlie tone of a man who had been accus- 
tomed to address m3rriada willing to hear and to applaud. He spoke 
frequently of the masses, of paper currency, of the markets, of specie, and 
commercial ruin, of imports and of exports, of America, France, Portu- 
gal, China, and Spain ; in short, he seemed resolved to leave no stone 
unturned in any quarter of the globe, which he conceived might tend to 
illustrate the position he had assumed. 

It soon became manifest to Valentine, that whatever degree of im- 
portance might be attached to the opinions of this gentleman elsewhere, 
in that house they had no weight at all ; for the few, the very few, 
who appeared to be attentive, were mingling tlieir smiles with their 
sneers, while the rest were conversing and joking, and laughing, 
apparently unconscious of everything but that which liad immediate 
reference to themselves. It was easy to perceive that this gentleman 
was capable of far more eloquence than that which he displayed ; but 
the coldness of the members whom he addressed, appeared to chill his 
natural ardour, and he eventually resumed his seat without gaining a 
cheer. 

Tills seemed to be a consummation that had been devoutly wished, 
and no sooner had it arrived than the attention of the house was diMOtod 



VAUUnXKE TQX* 55 

to one who» «lbeifc in person extremely small, appealed to be extremely 
gient m the estimation of those who occupiea one entire side of tli^ 
honae. He had risen vnth. the view of showing that the arguments of 
the honourable member who had preceded him were entirdy baseless 
and absurd ; and although his tone and deportment were by no means 
ooaunanding, while his eloquence sank to a great depth below medi- 
ocrity,- his ahem-ing and a-ar-ing reputation was applauded with 
Tehemenoe, by those who had failed to devote the slightest attention to 
the arguments to which the refutation applied. 

When this small but important individual had concluded, a fine 
portly person whose hair was neither auburn nor absolutely red, and 
whose forte eeemed to lie in the delivery of the bitterest sarcasms clothed 
in the sweetest tones, rose with what appeared to be a portfolio in his 
band, for the purpose of impugning one particular branch of the policy 
pursued by the then existing government. He appeared to be regarded 
as an oracle, for the house when he rose was as silent as the grave. 
£Tery point that he made was cheered with rapture by those who 
aat on the same side of the house, and whenever he happened to place 
a strong emphasis upon the concludon of any sentence in which no 
p(Hnt was perceptible, he looked round with the view of making his 
ln^[ids understand that although they might not exactly see it, the 
sentence did contain a point, when they nailed it with enthusiasm 
aecordingly. 

The moment this political god had resumed his seat amidst loud and 
protracted cheering, an honourable member whose countenance had been 
said to resemble an ugly portrait of Charles the First, and who appeared 
to hold raaors in sovereign contempt, for he clearly had not used one for 
many a day, rose simply to observe that he agreed with every sentence 
that either had been said, might be said, or could be said, against the 
members of the existing cabinet, whom he held to be the vilest, the 
meanest, the shabbiest, and most atrocious political scoundrels with 
whom the British Empire ever was or ever could be cursed. " I de- 
nounce then," said he with a cannibalistic scowl, which he had assumed 
with the view of imparting a most withering effect to the peroration of 
his philippic. '^I denounce them as a gang of degraded political 
ruffians; — who, with a profligate and most unconstitutional suck, 
have drained the cup of degradation to the very dregs, and I shouldn't 
care so much as the gliost of a dump, if the whole crew were nailed to 
the walls of thb house, and stoned to death with sacrificial brickbats 
to*morrow !" 

To the astonishment of Valentine, this burst of indignation was pro- 
ductive of nothing but laughter, and before Mr. Goodman had time to 
explain that the house always laughed when that senator spoke, a states- 
man in miniature, knitting his brows, started up with almost as 
much velocity as if he had been sent like a shell from a mortar to scatter 
destruction around. 

*^ That's a great gun," said Goodman ; and Valentine thought so, for 
he at that moment heard a tremendous report, which he subsequently, 
however, ascertained to proceed from a box which adorned one comer 



5S LIFE AMD ADYBNTUBBB OF 

of the table, and which the little man struck with the force of a jronng 
blackamith, while he writhed and wriggled and tortured his poor little 
body into eyery conceivable attitude, precisely as if those who sat in his 
immediate Tidnity, were out of pure wantonness pinching him behind. 
Even the reporters left off to indulge their amazement* for although his 
delivery revelled between a squeal and a shriek, his address was thickly 
studded with the most beautifully poetic images that ever developed the 
scope and power of man's imagination. How the speeches of this little 
gentleman could be followed by the reporters Valentine could not con- 
ceive. He knew that those speeches did appear, and having heard that 
the reports were most faithful, he was just on the point of concluding 
that the reporters must depend upon their memory, which he felt must 
be very extraordinary, seeing that they on one occasion gave a most 
faithful report of a speech which he only intended to deliver, when the 
shrieking stopped in an instant, like an alarum run down and the 
general cheering became enthusiastic. 

Before time bad subdued this vehement applause, the honourable 
member by whom the miniature statesman had been preceded, rose 
obviously in a state of excitement, to enquire if a certain observation 
which had fallen from the httle gentleman, and which appeared to have 
reference to buffoonery in general, was intended to apply personally to 
him. ^' If it were," said the honourable member, with a swell of 
indignation, '^ I hurl back the insinuation with scorn ! I am not a man 
to be with impunity insulted by any dirty" — (" order ! order ! chair I 
chair !") 

*^ The good sense," observed the Speaker, '' by which the conduct of 
the honourable member is so distinguished, will enable him to perceive 
thai the course he is now pursuing is not strictly in order." 

*^ I am willing," cried the honourable and indignant member, ^^ to 
pay all due deference to the chair ; but in the strongest terms the forms 
of the house will allow, will I denounce any vagabondising, dirty," — ^The 
extraordinary force vrith which he swung his arm round, in order to 
give full effect to the last word, caused the honourable member who had 
evidently dined, to fall heavily upon the heads of the members below 
him. This occurrence of course produced a loud burst of merriment 
which had scarcely subsided, when Valentine, whose feelings of contempt 
had been aroused, cried '^ Buffoon /" assuming the voice of the mer- 
curial statesman, who had made so exceedingly free with the box. 

The members at this moment looked with astonishment at each 
other, for they did not expect that from him. 

^ I am sorry," said the speaker, in his blandest tone, without noticing 
the contentions of the member who had fallen, " I am sorry to be 
compelled to observe that such language is disorderly in the extr^ne." 

The honourable member then rose to explain : '' If sir," said he, ^^ if 
it be imagined that / gave utterance to the offensive expression, which 
has called for that remark, I can assure you that it is altogether a mis- 
take, for upon my honour I did not.'' 

*^ I oertamly did conceive," said the speaker, '' that the expression 
proceeded from the honourable member; but if " 



'^If £d — ^it did !** shoxited several honourable memben. 

••No, no! — it did not!" shouted several othen, who were equaify 
rare that it did. 

** I have certainly no desire to interfere in this matter,^ said an 
hooourable member who had a remarkable profile, and whose busby 
hair was flowing luxuriantly down his back, ^* but I roust say that I 

hoard the honourable member distinctly make ^" Cries of " No, 

no !*' from one side of the House, and loud cheers from the other, effec- 
tually drowned this honourable member's voice, A^ain he endeavoured 
to make himself heard, and again, but was again ana again interrupted, 
ttntn at length he cried aloud in a voice of desperation, '* You will not 
hear me now, but the time will come when you ihall hear me I Flu, 
the time will come when you shall !" 

*' Sir,'' said an honourable and gallant member, who appeared to have 
been in the heat of some sanguinary battle, ^' if it did not proceed from 
the honourable member, I should like to know from whom it could 
proceed ? — It there in this House another member with such a voice ?" 

** Hear, hear !" exclaimed an honourable member, who prided himself 
upon his long top-boots and the barerfaced integrity of pnnciple. 

*^Hear, hear, hear!'' shouted another honourable member, whose 
small twinklin? eyes imparted lustre to a remarkably fiill-blown coun- 
tenance, of which the naturally good-humoured expression was spoiled 
by some rather malicious feeling, which appeared to be in tlie 
ascendant. 

^ Is not the honourable and gallant member satisfied V inquired the 
honourable member who had been accused. ^* Is not my word of honour 
sufficient ?" 

"Of course," replied the honourable and gallant member, "the 
forms of this House will not allow me to suppose it even possible for 
kny honourable member to be guilty of a deliberate falsehood." 

^ Do you mean to impute deliberate falsehood to me V shrieked the 
honourable member in question, who, as the reply was " I certainly 
heard it," attempted to rush from the House with what was supposed to 
be an extremely cold-blooded design, for the speaker's attention was 
called immediately to the fact by an obviously important personage, 
who might in Greece have been mistaken for King Otho inco^, " Does 
he mean to impute deliberate falsehood to me V* cried the honourable 
member again, as his friends were doing all in their power to exorcise 
the rampant little devil that was within him. 

" The honourable and gallant member," observed the speaker, *^ I am 
sure, wiU perceive the necessity for doing that which the House has a 
right to demand." But the honourable and gallant gentleman stubbornly 
kept his seat. Member after member rose to beg of him to withdraw 
the offensive imputation ; but his inflexibility was heroic ! He knew, 
of course, that he should be compelled either at once to retract or to 
lanzuish untH he did in the custody of the sergeant, who, with that pe- 
culiar courtesy for which he had ever been distinguished, would have 
been but too happy to afford him every accommodation ; but he felt 
that his reputation for courage might be perilled, unless he firmly held 



58 LIFE AjfD ADTEXTURES OF 

out till the last. The speaker rose again and again to demand^ — in his 
peculiarly bland manner, — the withdrawal of that expression which had 
given so much pain ; but nothing could move the honourable and gallant 
gentleman, until a personage with beautifully tinted cheeks proceeded to 
make a well underatood motion, when he declared, what he could not 
before hare declared, without involving his honour, that, in imputing 
deliberate folsehood to the honourable member, he meant notinng at 
all personally offensive, and here the matter ended. 

An attempt was now made to recal the attention of honourable mem* 
bcrs to business ; but as the majority of them manifested a strong dis- 
inclination to attend to any thing of the sort, Valentine, on being urged 
by Goodman, resolved upon releasing that majority from their legislative 
functions for the night. 

Accordingly, just as a prosy individual, who had evidently placed a 
written speech in his hat, was trying to pick up the thread of the debate, 
Valentine, throwing his voice under one of the galleries, cried, '* Ques- 
tion!" 

" Why, that is the question !" said the honourable member, who was 
compelled again to look at the speech in his hat. 

*' Let it be read by the clerk !*' shouted Valentine. 

** Order, order, order !" said the speaker. 

** Aye, give it to the clerk !" cried two juvenile senators. 

^' Question ! question !" and the cry on one side of the House becom- 
ing general, the hon. member indignantly resumed his seat. 

At this moment two honourable members rose together, and the oalla 
for both became general and loud. Both seemed extremely anxious to 
speak, and therefore neither felt disposed, for some time, to give way. At 
length, however, one of them yielded ; but he had no sooner done so, 
than Valentine shouted out, *^ Down !'' which shout found at least a 
hundred echoes, for in an instant nothing but **Down ! down ! down !** 
could be heard. The honourable gentleman, however, still stood firmly, 
and folded his arms with a look of defiance which seemed to enrage 
about fifty other honourable members who had previously been silent, 
but who now appeared to have caught a very sudden and severe cold, for 
they began to cough and sneeze with unspeakable violence. 

No sooner had this coughing and sneezing been added to the loud 
shouts of '^ Down !" than several honourable gentlemen (kvoured the 
company with a little howling ; and then a little yelling was heard, 
and then admirable imitations of the languages peculiar to certain in- 
teresting zoological curiosities, and then mingling cries of ** Order !'^ 
" Sliame !" and " Bravo !" and then a very violent clapping of hands, 
and then loud and apparently hysterical laughter, until at length there 
arose a mass of hideous sounds, to which nothing could be comparable 
save those which might proceed from a den in which five hundred 
maniacs were battling with a corresponding number of very wild beasts. 

Valentine had no idea that a storm could have been raised so soon ; 
indeed, he never imagined that mck a storm as that could have been 
been raised there at all ; but as it had been raised, he very quietly pro- 



VALENTINE VOX. 59 

(seeded to analyse the body of sound by separating the various little in- 
teresting noises of which it was coinpoeed. 

Upon one of the benches sat a couple of highly intellectual individuals 
who were naming the Speaker for the next harmony, by knocking hini 
down for " a jolly good song," and behind them an honourable member 
was seriously engaged in whetting the ghost of a knife upon a spectral 
grindstone. A short distance from him sat a statesman promoting the 
prosperity of the country in general, and the interests of his constituents 
in particular, by buzzing through his teeth in imitation of that notorious 
hurdy-gurdy which won't go to more than one tune, and what that in 
its infancy might have been, it is utterly impossible to determine ; for, 
having been played for so many years, it appears now to have been aU 
most wholly worn away. A little farther on, a profound politician was 
contending for the eternal nature of his principles by shouting, '^ Quack ! 
quack!" with an energetic feeling, which any duck in the universe 
might naturally have envied. By his side sat a senator resolved on up- 
holding the dignity of the crown by playing what by a stretch of the 
imagination he had conceived to be a regular trombone, and immediately 
above him one who might have been a Premier in embryo, was draw- 
ing a lot of imaginary corks. Several aristocratic individuals under the 
gadlery, who ought to have had " Ears pierced" painted over the doors 
of their respective residences, were whistling with the shrillness of gods, 
while a merry old boy who had several slips of paper stuck uuder the 
collar of his coat, was playing what he conceived for that particular oc- 
casion to be a Jew's harp, which, as a mere matter of justice it must be 
admitted, he managed with senatorial subtlety and tact. On one of 
the back benches sat a row of individuals, who being determined to 
support the Agricultural Interest by ^^ a long pull, a strong pull, and a 
pidl altogether," had imagined that they were bawling up an extremely 
heavy anchor, and as each had his arms round the waist of the victim 
immediately before him, they pulled each other backwards and forwards 
in a line, shouting out with great energy '' Yeo heave ho !" 

The great point of attraction, however — ^that which tended more than 
all to inspire Valentine vrith the conviction that he was then in the 
midst of the collective wisdom of the nation, inasmuch as those around 
him knew how to do everything — was a section of politicians who had 
formed themselves into a sort of a knot, and who not only seemed quite 
resolved to do all in their power to contribute to the harmony of the 
evening, but who absolutely did, to a sensible extent, succeed in swell- 
ing the general sound. One was striving to obtain justice for Ireland, 
by braying in the most natural manner possible : another was saving 
the country from revolution by squealing ^' A week, week !" in humble 
imitation of a juvenile pig oppressed : a third was avenging the insults 
offered to the British flag by an extraordinary effort to crow like a cock : a 
fourth ivaa sustaining the integrity of the empire by imparting an idea of 
the sound of a French horn : a fifth was supporting the Established Church 
by shouting perpetually, ^' Yoiks ! Tallyho !" a sixth pledged to pro- 
ciue the abolition of military torture, was showing precisely how cat 



60 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

caih to cat : a seventh was endeavouring to pat an end to the san- 
gnuiary civil war in Spain, by oonverting his own hat and that of a 
statesman who sat immediately before him into a couple of kettle-drums, 
which he certainly continued to beat Mrith an energy that *^ nothing dse 
could match :'' an eighth who had been pledged to the abolition of the 
slave-trade was engaged in giving effect to a popular air: while a ninth 
was endeavouring to impress upon the house the necessity for an 
immediate extension of the suffrage by imparting to all around what he 
conceived to be a highly correct notion of the moral and physical effects 
of hydrophobia. 

In vain the speaker, during these irregular proceedings, tried to show 
that such conduct was not exactly consistent with the character of a 
deliberative assembly; in vain he strove to direct the attention of 
honourable members to the fact that the interests and the feelings of 
the country in general could not be thus really represented: he thun- 
dered forth '* Order/' and rose twenty times to enforce it in vain : his 
presence was unlieeded, his authority contemned ; and he thereidie at 
length sank back in his chair to view t)te scene with mingled feelings 
of indifrnation and sorrow. Valentine felt fur the old gentleman, for he 
appeared to be shedding tears ; and being therefore determined to put 
an end to these proceedings if possible, he took advantage of a moment 
when the throats of those who composed the first assembly of gentlemen 
in the woM displayed symptoihs of exhaustion, and sent a moat 
extraordinary cry of *^ Shame !'' into one of the reflectors, wliioh ap« 
peared for the moment to be under some supernatural influence, and 
which caused the majority of the senators below to look up with 
an expression of amazement. 

As the noise became in consequence somewhat subdued, Valentine 
raised another sepulchral cry of ^' Shame,*' which w*as heard with far 
greater distinctness than the first, and which induced the identical old 
gentleman who had been playing the imaginary Jew*s harp, and who 
was evidently indignant at this strange interruption, to rise with the 
yiew of directing attention to an extraordinary fact — one of which he 
xeally appeared to have had no previous knowledge — namely, that of 
there being strangers in the gallery ! The very moment this honourable 
gentleman rose, a loud burst of laughter drowned every other sound ; 
tor the whole house perceived that an humble petition had been 
cut into slips, and not only secured by the collar of his coat, but stuck 
firmly with wafers all over his back, reaching even below his expansive 
eoat-tails. Of this the honourable member of course was unconsotoixs ; 
but as his object had been gained in so far as that the noise had been 
renewed, he very quietly sat down with the view of playing a few more 
popular and interesting tunes, with the instrument which he concmved 
he held tightly between bis gums. 

He was, however, soon interrupted again, for an honourable member 
who had made many inefiectual attempts to obtain a hearing, taking 
advantage of a temporary suppression of noise, rose to move an adjourn- 
ment. The motion was followed by shouts of ^' No, no !" and a reaUy 
extnwrdinary species of yelling; but as the honourable member declared 



TALBNTINE VOX. 61 

thftt he was detenoined to take the sense of the house, — to the utter 
astonishment of Valentine, who could not conceive where the sense 
conld he found — ^the adjouroment was agreed to without a division, and 
the immediate rush towards the door was tremendous. 

As soon as the coast hecame sufficiently clear, Goodman and his 
left the house and proceeded homewards ; hut while the feeling 
which prevailed in the bosom of the former was that of unqualified de- 
light, that which reigned in the breast of the latter was one of unmingled 
and boundless surprise. 



CHAPTER X. 

IN WHICH GOODMAN IS HONOURED WITH A PECULIAR VISIT, AND 
SUBSEQUENTLY SEIZED IN THE MOST MYSTERIOUS MANNER POSSIBLE. 

Without presuming to enter those peculiarly chaotic regions Geology 
might tempt the imagination to explore — w^itliout, indeed, going any 
fiuther back than the days of Adam and Eve — it may with safety be 
asserted^-taking for a point that interesting period of our history when 
young Creation beat old Chaos hollow — that of all the destructive wars 
which have afflicted mankind, the War of Attachments has raged with 
the greatest constancy and fierceness. From the birth of the sun, 
moon, and stars, to the deluge, from the deluge to tlie commencement of 
the Christian era, and from thence to the period of the publication of 
these adventures, the attachments have been savagely cutting each 
others' throats — scourging, smothering, and torturing eacli other in every 
oonceivable variety of forms — in a word, all the evils with which man 
has been cursed are attributable solely to this War of the Attachments. 

Now, in proportion as Goodman's attachment to Valentine increased, 
his attacliment to his amiable relatives diminished : in fact, the one was 
very quietly smothering the other when those relatives in turn formed 
certain new attachments which they conceived might promote the great 
object they had in view. 

One heavenly morning, about twelve o'clock, when the leaves of the 
aspen were shivering in the breeze, when the cows were each moment 
erpecting to be milked, and when, Valentine having been sent to the 
bankers, Goodman was reading in his library alone, the servant entered 
with a couple of highly glazed cards, which bore the following remark- 
able ]iisoriptions-*-2>r. Emanuel W, Batelemmity and Dr. Dionysius 

DOBB. 

** Dr. Emanuel W. Bowlemout ? — Bowlemout — Bowlemout" said 
Goodman, considering — *' Dr Dionysius Dobb? — Dobb? — Dobb? — 
I have not the slightest knowledge of these gentlemen. Ask them to 
walk in." 

While the servant was seducing the two doctors out of the parlour, 



62 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

Goodman lead the cards again and again, conceiving that their names 
might strike their full length portraits on his memory. 

^' Good morning, sir," profoundly observed a remarkably short and 
apoplectic individual, who appeared to have been afflicted with the 
dropsy from his youth. 

^^ Good morning," said Goodman, waving his hand towards a couple 
of chairs, of which the doctors took possession. 

" My name is Bowlemout," observed the dropsical person — '* My 
friend. Dr. Day." 

Goodman bowed and placed the cards upon the table. 

** You are quite well, I hope?" said Dr. Emanuel W. Bowlemout. 

^ Perfectly," said Goodman, '* thank Crod, I never had a day's illness 
in my life." 

Dr. Bowlemout looked at Dr. Dobb, who cocked his chin upon his 
stick, and eyed Goodman intently. 

^' May I," observed Goodman, after waiting in silence for some const-* 
derable time — ^' May I enquire the object of this visit V 

'^ Most certainly, my dear sir," replied Dr. Bowlemout, looking 
again at Dr. Dobb, who still continued to sit like a statue in mourning 
for some dear friend — ^' It may, my dear sir, appear somewhat extraor- 
dinary that we should have called upon you thus without a previous 
introduction: but it is perhaps in these cases quite as well — quite.*' 
And Dr. Bowlemout looked once more at Dr. Dobb, who did conde- 
scend then to nod, by way of signifying that that observation had met 
his views precisely. 

CK>odman was still unable to imagine what the object of these gentle- 
men could be; but he ventured to suppose that he should know in good 
time, and therefore waited for its natural developement with patience, 
while those gentlemen were viewing him with what he conceived to be 
an expression of pity. 

^ Do me the &vour," at length said Dr. Bowlemout, placing his finger 
delicately npon Goodman's wrist, as his hand rested upon the tabl^— 
*' allow me." 

*' Gentlemen !" said Goodman firmly, withdrawing his hand. ^^ You 
have honoured me with a visit, and you have, I presume, some object 
in view : need I add that I consider it necessary for that object to be 
explained V* 

^^ Wliy, my dear sir," replied Dr. Bowlemout, '' the fact is, we have 
called at the request of certain intimate friends of yours, who fancy that 
you have not been looking quite so well of late — to ascertain the precise 
state of your general health." 

^* Indeed !*' said Gt)odman smiling, '^ I ought to be exceedingly 
obliged to those friends. May I know to whom I am indebted to 
this extraordinary act of kindness. 

'^ Why that, my dear sir, is a matter of extreme delicaqr," replied 
Bowlemout. *' Yon will perceive that they are naturally apprehensive 
that they might be deemed too officious" — ^too fond of parading their 
firiendship." 

*^ They," said Goodman, ^* who imagine that I should ful to appre- 
ciate this or any other act of kindness, can know me but imperfectly. 



VALENTINE VOX. 63 

There surely can be no serious objecdou to theii names being men- 
tioned?" 

^^ I really^" said Dr. Bowlemout, *' do not feel justified in naming 
tbem." 

" No, no, no !" gruffly exclaimed Dr. Dobb. " There is no necessity 
for that sort of thing." 

^^ I can perceive no necessity for the other sort of thing," observed 
Goodman somewhat piqued at the roughness of Dr. Dobb. ^'This 
visit I trust did not originate in any idle curiosity ?" 

^'Oh! not at all! not at all, my dear sir; not at all!" cried Dr. 
Bowlemout, *' God bless me, no^ not at all !" 

'^ Then gentlemen," said Goodman, ^^ I am able to inform those ex- 
ceedingly kind friends through you, that I am capable of forming a 
judgment on the state of my own health — " 

"That's the point! — ^the very point!" interrupted Dr. Bowlemout, 
turning to Dr. Dobb, who gave several short nods. 
" W hat's the point Y' enquired Goodman. 

" That men are not always able to form such a judgment," growled 
Dr. Dionysius Dobb. " You for instance may be afflicted with one of 
the moet serious maladies that are incident to the human frame without 
being in the slightest degree conscious of the fact. — Have yon heard 
by-the-bye from your friend the emperor lately ?" 

" I am perhaps,** said Goodman after a pause-— during which Dr. 
Bowlemout gave Dr. Dobb certain slight but mysterious winks — ^^ I 
am perhaps bound to presume that your object is not to insult me V 
" Oh ! dear me, no, not at all !" cried Dr. Bowlemout. 
^* I must say that that question appears to me to be extraordinary—- 
indeed, the whole proceeding is of so strange a character, that I scarcely 
know even now what to make of it. Have you any thing more to 
say, gentlemen ?" 

" Why, there are," said Dr. Bowlemout, " two or three points upon 
which I should like to be informed. You are related, I believe to the 
Royal FamUy ?" 

'^ Sir !" thundered Goodman, and his eyes flashed with all their 
wonted fire. " Old as I am, I am not a man to be insulted with impunity.'' 
" Calm yourself : come, come, my dear sir, be cool !" said Dr. 
Bowlemout. 

^' Cool, sir !" cried Goodman, '^ do you take me for an idiot ? Think 
jon that I'll consent to be made the sport of fools ? Who sent you ? 
Were you in fact sent at all ? If you were, why do you not, like men — " 
^' Mr. Valentine has returned," said the servant, who, after knocking 
fiir some time, had entered. — " He wishes to know, sir, if he may speak 
with you." 

" Yes," said Goodman, " tell him I want him," and Valentine who 
was then at the door, walked in. 

" My dear boy," said Goodman, '^ I have been grossly insulted, I 
never was before so insulted as I have been by these two pefsons of 
wliom I have no sort of knowledge." 

^ We simply asked him," said Bowlemout, ^ if he were not related 
to the Royal Family ?" 



64 LIFR AND ADVENTURES OF VALENTINE VOX. 

*^ And whyaak bo ridicalousa question?'' said Valentine, with one of 
his peculiarly piercing glances. 

"Because," replied Dr. Bowlemout, "we were informed that he 
claimed the Bntish crown " 

" And what if you were thus informed ? "What, if even he had such 
a claim, would it interfere with any claim of yours? What have you 
to do with the matter ? — what is it to you ? — Have you," added Va- 
lentine, addressing Goodman, "any desire to detain ihcBe gentlemen f 

" None whatever," replied Goodman : *' on the contrary, I wish them 
gone." 

" Tlien you will probably walk with me at once to the door," ob- 
served Valentine to the gentlemen in question, who still kept their seats. 

" We came here, young man," said Dr. Bowlemout pompously, " to 
perform a public duty ; and we shall ^o when we please." 

*' Then, if you do,'* rejoined Valentine, " you must please to go im- 
mediately." 

" Why ?" thundered Dr. Dionysius Dobb. 

" Because, if you do not," replied Valentine, " I shall be compelled 
to make you go before you please.'' 

At this moment a laughing duett of derision burst from Drs. 
Bowlemout and Dobb. They soon, however, found that they had 
made a slight mistake in their estimate of Valentine's character, for on 
the instant he seized Dr. Bowlemout by the collar, and without the 
smallest difficulty brought him to the ground. The moment Dr. 
Bowlemout was down. Dr. Dobb sprang at Valentine with the ferocity 
of a tiger, and Goodman sprang at him ; but before he had time to 
reach him, Valentine, who was then on one knee, caught hold of the 
legs of Dr. Dobb, and threw him cleverly over Dr. Bowlemout's back. 

" Keep the fat one down !" shouted Valentine. " Don't let him stir ! 
I'll come back for him in a moment." And he proceeded to drag Dr. 
Dobb to the door, which he opened, and having thrown him into the 
street, closed it again, and ran back for the other. 

" Now, sir !" said Valentine to Dr. Bowlemout, who was panting for 
breath, and seemed nearly exhausted, "Do you wish to be thrown 
headlong after your friend, or will you walk ?" 

Of the two, Bowlemout decidedly preferred the latter mode of pro- 
ceeding, and hastened at once to the door; but tlie moment he had 
reached the step in safety, he turned round, and scowling at Goodman, 
cried, with all the breath he appeared to have in his body, " Oh I you 
shall suffer for this 1 — we'll have our revenge !" and Valentine pushed 
him off the step, and closed the door. 

About half an hour after the departure of these gentlemen, Walter 
and Horace looked in to invite Goodman to meet a few friends at their 
house, in the eveninc;. 

To them he ezplamed what had occurred, and they expressed their 
astonishment with extraordinary warmth« He also explained that he 
and Valentine were just about to start for Gravesend, at which they 
appeared to be equally surprised ; and after having ascertained the pre- 
cise time the boat started, they hastily quitted the house. 



Q5 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE MYSTERIOUS SEIZURE — ^A GENTLEMAN DROWNED IN IMAGINATION 

FIRST APPEARANCE OP VALENTINE UPON TUB STAGE OF THE 

ITALIAN OPERA. 

When Goodman had adjusted the week's aocmnolation of papers, he 
and Valentine walked Idsurely towards Comhill, but as he had some 
little busiuess to transact in the immediate vicinity of the Bank, he sent 
Valentine forward to amuse himself iox half an hour, on the steam- 
packet wharf. 

Before the half hour had expired, Goodman had completed the busi- 
niBflB on hand, and as he felt that he might still be in time for the three* 
o'clock boat, he walked rather briskly towards the quay from which it 
•taiied. He had scarcely, however, tumod into Fish-^treet-Hill, when 
^wo powerful looking fellows hastily crossed from the oppotdte side, and 
placed themselves indmediately before him. 

*^ Fine day, sir," said one of these persons in a singularly rough heavy 
tone. 

^^ It is a fine day," observed Goodman, endeavouring to pass them, 
•* a very fine day." 

** You'd better have a ride along with us, sir," said the fellow, sdzing 
Gioodman*s right arm. 

'^ What do you mean, man 4" cried Goodman, as he strove to wring 
his ann from l^e fellow's firm grasp. 

*' Why on'y that we're going to take a quiet country ride, and we 
wants you to obleedge us with your companv, that's all ;" and a coach, 
Uiat haul beeii waiting on the opposite side, drew up to tlie spot on tho 
instant. 

^ In Heaven's name !" exclaimed Goodman, who had become much 
alarmed '' what can all this mean?" and again he made an effort to dis- 
engage his arm^ but found it held as firmly as though it had been in a 
vioe. 

" Come, come, you know, be quiet; it an't o' no use, you know : none 
o' your tricks; it won't do," said the £^ow. 

^^ My good man," cried Goodman, ^' you are labouring under some 
airange mistake, — indeed, indeed you are mistaken.'^ 

*^J?ot a bit of it," srowled tbe fellow, "not a ha'porth! your 
name's Goodman, an't itl Mr. Grimwood Goodman ?" 

" It certaioly b, but" — 

" Oh ! it's all right ! the fus cousin to the Emp'ror of Chany, you 
know ! — ^now if so oe as you want to be treated like a genelman, youll 
get in at once, without any more bones." 

" But I will not get in !" exclaimed Goodman. 

" Well," said the fellow, calmly, " there's not the least compulsion in 
life, you know,— on'y you must." 

K 



W LIFB iiHD ADVBNTURES OF 

^>; What^*'<-*what does it mean, sir ?— wheie is your authority loi this 
monstrous proceeding V* 

' *^ Oh) we have got lots of authority," cried the Callow ; aad his assis- 
tant proceeded to let down the steps, while the coachman held open the 
dooivi 

^^ Help I help ! " shouted Goodman, as a &;entleman passed. '' For 
Heaven's sake, save me from these ruffians ! 

*' What's all this ahout ?" said the gentleman, approaching. 

^' I'is all rights sir ; all quite reg'lar," replied the fellow, fimt tapping 
his forehead, and then placing his thumb by the side of his nose, ^^ yoa 
understand ?" 

^ Poor fellow !*' exclaimed the gentleman in acowts of pity. 

" My good sir, but heat me, — ^pray hear me !" cried Qoodman. 

*'Oo quietly, there's a dear man," said the gentlemaii, evidently 
affected. '^ It is all for the best ; these persons will not harm 3F0U, 
indeed ithf^ will Bot*-<ome, come." 

* ^ Sir !'/' exclaimed Goodman — '^ Oh ! hear me explain !— stay, stay 
but lor w^ inslant !-*^stay mr, if you are a christian !" but the gentleman^ 
mho i^ppeaied bo be in haste, sighed deeply while a tear stood m his ey€^ 
and pa^ed on. 

1 1 ^>Now, are we to clap on a jacket or not!" cried the fellow^ who 
began to be impatient. 

^fGt>od God!" exclaimed Goodman — ^^wiU no one assist me? 
Help! Mp ! For the love of Heaven ! — Help 1 help !" he repeated ia 
tones the most piercing, while he struggled with all the strength at his 
fommand. He was, however, but as a child in the grasp, of a giant; 
lor the principal ruffian at once thrust him into the coach, in which 
Goodman, the benevolent warm-hearted Goodman, sunk back and 
immediately fainted. 

While this most extraordinary seizure was being made, Valentine was 
waiting with much impatience at the wharf. The packet by which 
they were to have started had left, and the latest, which had immediately 
after glided like a swan to the spot, was filling fast. It being Saturday^ 
hundreds of persons, consisting chiefly of merchants, warehousemen, and 
clerks, whose families annually reside at Gravesend three weeks or a 
month, hastened down with the view of joining those families that 
night, and returning to business early on Monday morning. With 
thMe persons almost every seat upon deck was soon occupied. Some 
b^pan to peruse the weekly journals, some to arrange tlie papers with 
whieh their pockets had been filled, while others, with their arms folded 
under their coat-tails, were thoughtfully watching the progress of the 
tide. 

At length the men on board began to bustle about the deck, and the 
captain mounted one of the boxes by which the paddles were partially 
4mncealed, and commenced giving orders about the adjustment of certain 
ropes. As every motion was now indicative of an immediate start, 
Valentine at once rushed on board, feeling certain that he must luive 
'missed Goodman in the crowd. He searched the deck and cabin^ how- 
aver, in vain; and as he looked with anxiety from the side of the veasdy 



VALBNTIMB VOX. 07 

to asoertain if Goodman were coming, the Captain gave his orders to 
let the boat go. 

^^Bnt one moment!' cried Valentine, addresang the Captain. *^ I 
expect a friend here in an instant." 

" Time's up, sir ; can't stop," said the Captain. "Now, my lads, oome^ 
look alive T' and his people began to nnfesten the ropes, when Valen- 
tine leaping npon the barge to which the vessel had been seoared, 
resolved on detaining her a few moments longer. 

** Captain !" shouted Valentine, making his voice proceed aippai^ntly 
from a little wooden watch-box of an office, adorned with ^^ing red 
and blue placards. 

" Hollo !'• cried the Captain. 

'' Yon are wanted in the office !" shouted Valentine* 

" Why, -we're off ! — ^who wants me ?" 

*'One of the proprietors. Here ! you must come !" 

" Blow one of the proprietors !" growled the indignant Caqptain, '«Mf» 
taee, ^< Here, old fast a bit ; I wonder what's the matter now/' And 
he jumped from the deck upon the landing barge, and prooeedei 
towards the office, with a countenance expressive of anything but 
delight. ' ) 

Valentine again looked most anxiously for Goodman, and just as he 
saw some one nastening towards the whaif whom he conceived mig^ be 
him, the gallant Captain returned, and after kecking aside every man 
who stood in his way, shouted, " Who wtw it said I was wanted ? I 
should just like to know," he added gruffly, on receiving no answer. 
"I'm blowed if I wouldn't pitch him right overboard hangT and 
having scrambled to the top of the paddle-box, again gave the signal for 
starting. 

Valentine, however, being determined to give Goodman a Ibw 
minutes more^ no sooner heard the well known signal given, than 
sending his voice under the stem of the vessel shouted. " Help I help! 
a boat^ a boat ! Help ! help 1 help !" — so loudly, that in a moment the 
persons who were standing on the wharf joined in the cry simultaneously 
with the passengers on boicird. Down dashed the boat which had been 
bawled up to the stem, with a force which must have killed any man 
out and out if one had happened to have been there ; while other boats 
instantly came to the spot, and every available rope was in immediate 
requisition. The boats darted round and round the vessel, in vain, 
followed by the eyes o{ the passengers, who appeared to be in a state of 
great excitement, while the steam was hissing, panting, and snovUng 
vnth as mnch angry violence aa if it had been perfectly cogniHmt of the 
tnck. 

" Poor soul r exclaimed a stout old gentleman, who stood upon the 
barge, " he has sunk, I fear, to rise no more V 

" Help ! Here, here, here !" shouted Valentine, and away the boats 
^w to the spot from which the sound appeared to proceed, while the 
passengers mshed from side to side with the most painful anxiety. 

" Where, where are you V cried one of the boatmen. " My good 
fellow— >now, now ! give another hail ! — ^where are you V 



^8 LIFE AND ABVBKTVBE8 OF 

" Here T* cried Valentine. 

'' Starn ! atom !" shouted the Captain, in haste. '' Look aUve r 
And away went the hoats agasn astern. ^Have yon got him ?** he 
inquired of the men ; ^^ have yon got him f " But tho r^y wa% *^ if 
We could hat only see him we shonldn^t caie.'^ 

*^ Make haste !" shouted Valentine. 

" Where ?" cried the Captain, " where, where, my poor fettow-^vdievB 
are you?** 

^On the wheel," exclaimed Valentine, faintly. 

*^ Hold on but a moment ! now, now, my lads — now ! to the whsd; 
now, hurrah !" cried the Captam, whose eyes at onoe sparkled witb 
joy, for he felt that he should saye the poor fellow at last. 

^ Move a>head !" cried Valentine, assuming the voice of a lad whom 
he had heard giye the order before, and the wheels on the instant dashed 
violently round amidst a general shout of horror! 

The wheels were stopped ; the foam subsided ; but the voioe was 
heard no more. The passengers looked at each other aghast. The 
Capt»n stared at the boy and the boy stared at the Captain; but 
tieither of them uttered a word— -indeed, for several minutes a death^^ifae 
'silence prevailed, and the general conviction was, that the wheel had 
dashed down the unfortunate man, who had become too much exhausted 
to rise again to the surface. 

Valentine again looked round for his gnardian, but agam was most 
grievously disappointed. The vessel was then half an hour behind 
time ; and as ho felt that it would be useless to detain her any longer, 
lie made up his mind to let her go. The men in the boats were still 
watching the surface of the river intently ; the Captain was ezplauiw 
to the boy what he had done, and the boy was declaring to the soepticu 
Captain that the order to move a-head had not proceeded from him, 
while the passengers and the persons who stood upon the barge weie 
relating to each other how the poor fellow struggled as they saw him 
in imagination go down ; and descanting veiy freely upon all that was 
known of the characteristics peculiar to a watery grave. 

The Captain, at length, feeling that nothing more could be done for 
the ** poor fellow," again prepared to start, and Valentine, in order to 
relieve his mind, sent a loud shout of laughter immediately behind him. 
The effect was electrical. Nothing could exceed the astonishment dis^ 
played by the Captain. He turned sharply round, with a bosom 
swelling with indignation, in order to ascertain what manner of maa he 
could be who thus had the cold Uooded inhumanity to langli nt so 
awAil a moment as that. 

^^It was only a joke!*' exclaimed Valentine. 

^ A joke !" cried the Captain, indignantly, *' a joke !'* 

** Why, yes, I wasn't overboard at all!" shouted Valentine. ^I 
only made believe !" 

^^Made believe f' cried the Captain, looking scomfrilly towards the 
quarter from which the sound appeared to proceed. *' Who is it that 
'Spoke? who only made bdieve? Ill give a crown out of my own 
pocket to know ! — for that man, if he was even the king of Enghuid, 



TALKNTXKfi YOZ. eV 

should not femain aboard of my bo&t anothcf instant. I'd make him 
go adioie if I woiddn't— teAo was it V 

As tiii inhmnan person in question refused to teiply^ and as the 
mdigsant Captain found it impoesihle to disoov^ the deiiiiquenty ho 
with evident reluctance acain gave the sienal for starting, when the 
Tessel was released from her moorings, and glided majesficaUy down 
witii the tada. 

The yeiy moment the boat was out of sight, Valentine started to the 
Ksidenoe of the citissen upon whom Ck>odman had called, on his way to 
I9i8 wbar^ and having there ascertained that he had left in great haste, 
he proceeded home fencyiug that something of importance might have 
occurred to induce his guardian to return. On hearing, however, that 
he had not returned, he concluded at once that he must have started by 
the first boat, unseen in the crowd, and after allowing the servant to 
brine; up the tray with some cold beef and salad, heb^n to think how 
he should amuse himself until the morning, when he intended to follow 
by the earliest boat. 

No sooner had he finished his meal and drank a couple of glasses of 
port, which bad been left in the decanter, than Horace arrived in a 
state of great excitement, to enquire if within the last hour his father 
had been there 7 On beinff informed that he had not, his excitement 
increased, but on learning 3iat Yalentine had just returned alone, he 
emiled with intense satisfaction, and entered the parlour at once. 

^ Weil, my youi^ ancient 1 cried Horace, ^^ why, I thought you 
wove off to the aristocratic regions of Gravesend i" 

** I did start for that purpose," said Valentine, but I unfortunately 
niBsed your unde." 

^Ofcourse! Why you didn't expect any other thing, did you ? It's 
just like the old undeniaUe. He and my governor in that little par- 
ticttlar are just as much alike as two wheel-barrows. Only let'em slip, 
and i^tnefy go inHmd-out, in-and-out, like a couple of crocodiles, and if you 
tfvercaioh so much as a sight of 'em again, why you must have an eye 
like a Flanders' bride. But I say, my little antediluvian, haven't you 
net a glass of wine to give a fellow ? Where does old owe-nothing keep 

hr 

^* Upon my word I don't know, but Ann will get us some, doubt- 
less," replied Valentine, ringing the belL 

'* Aye that's tiie very cs^ observed Horace, *^ for I'm about fit to 
drop." And he cocked his legs deliberately upon the table* ^^ I say, 
my Serapfaina," he continued as Ann entered the room, ^' h^e's a dreadful 
state of mind for a bottle to be in 1 come, give it a beUy-foU <^ someihing, 
oldgiii" 

I%e order was confirmed by a nod firom Valentine, and a b^tie of 
port was brought up witli the corkscrew, when Horace first pronounced 
Ann to be an out-and-outer, and then seizing a carving lanfe^ with 
whidi he cracked the shoulder of the bottle, very dexterously wrung 
te long neck off. 

^ Dear me, Mr. Horace !" exclaimed Ann, ^^ how I vrish you'd draw 
the corks, you do make such a mess." 



70 tIFS AND ADVBNTVRfiS OF 

** Bring us another glass, my old giit/' said HoTBce, who, on its being 
brought, added, ^ now youll know how mnch better it tastes in this 
way, ' and as Ann expressed a great disinclination to try it, he simply 
threw her down upon the sofa, when, having kissed her and forced her 
to swallow the wine, he laughed at her indignation, and allowed her to 
retire. 

*^ It strikes me with just about the force of a sledse-hammer,'' said 
Horace, after having replenished his glass three times without relinquish- 
ing the bottle for a moment, ^^ that you are neither more nor less than 
an out-and-out brick. Now what do you dream of doing with your 
body to-night?" 

" I scarcely know," replied Yalentine. 

*' Wen then, I'll tell you what it is ; just cock 3rourself comfortably 
under my care, and 111 show you a little of life." 

** But I fancied," observed Yalentine, ^^ that you were going to have 
a party to-night." 

'* And so we are," returned Horace, " but you don't suppose that I'm 
such an out-and-out flat as to join them, do you ? If uncle had been 
going, why I must then have stuck there of course, for he's such an 
excruciating old file, that he couldn't be happy without me ; but as 
he'll not, you know, be there at all, don't suppose that I'm going to waste 
the evening with a parcel of jolly old dummies, some mumbling about 
the weather, some growlin? about the high price of bees-wax, some 
whining about the anti-dimmishable character of the national debt, and 
others showing how a jolly revolution might be averted by allowing 
pickled cabbage to be imported in the raw. A rubber's the very utmost 
to which they could be goaded, and then the/re such vride awake vna^ 
mint, you can't even so much as palm a card without being told of it, 
which happens to be about the very thing I most hate. W hy, then, 
should I join a crew of this particular kidney, unless indeed I wanted to 
cut the throat of time, or to commit an act of self smotheration ? It is 
true I shall have tea with'em just for the wetness of the thing, and then 
of course I bolt ; so if you like, you know, to place yourself under my 
care, I shall just put you up to a thing or two that isn't known to here 
and there one." 

^* Oh, I shall be most happy," observed Valentine. 

*^ Well then, we'll finish this bottle, and stop just an hour at home, and 
then we'll run a regular trump to earth, who can take us where you never 
were before. But remember, when I light my cheroot, and you see the 
old out-and-outers cocking up their jolly old noses, leave the room, and 
ril be after you with all the alacrity of a bum." 

Accordingly, the bottle was emptied, almost solely by Horace, and 
they proceeded to the house of his father, where they found half a dozen 
disagreeable old shrews whose husbands were expected to join them 
after tea. 

** Have you seen your fother, Horace ?" enquired Mrs. Qt>odman. 

*^ No," replied Horace, who winked at his dear and anxious mother, 
and drew her towards the window, where they kept up for some time a 
low conversational whisper. 



TAL^ITINE VOX. 7t 

^^ There he is 1" ezchumed Mrs. Horace Goodman. 

'' Not a bit of it, I know," said Horace, '' that isn't the old bufFer's 
knock/' 

**" I know it is,'' obserred Mrs. Goodman junior. 

'^ I tell yon it is not," cried Horace, snappishly, '' I think I ought to 
know. He'd never give such an out-and-out know-nothing tat-a-rat, rat- 
a-tat business as that. It's somebody tliat's just got over a soft single 
knock, and now doesn't know exactly. when to leave off." 

At this moment Walter entered . as pale as a ghost, and, on catch- 
ing the eye of Valentine, gave . an involuntary shudder. Qe rallied, 
however, in an instant ; . but on extending his hand, Valentine found that 
it trembled violently. 

As soon as Mrs. Goodman could conveniently manage it, she whis- 
pered, *'^ Is it done T' and on receiving an intimation in the affirmative, 
she communicated the fact to Mrs. Horace Goodman, and it appeared 
to be highly satisfactory to both. > 

Tea was then brought up at once, and the whole party drew round 
the table ; but it was easily perceptible by all, that Walter had on his 
mind something which bid defiance to tranquillity. When addressed on 
any subject he spoke with affected gaiety and smiled, but in an instant 
his brow again sank, and his features became sullen and rigid as before. 

As Horace had described, it would have been dull work indeed, to 
^>end the evening in the society of the persons there assembled. There 
was talking, it is true, a great quantity of talking, but not a single word 
^na uttered in an hour, worth remembering a minute. 

As soon, therefore, as this weary tea afl'air was over, Horace pulled 
out his case, and b^an to wet a cheroot by rolling it over his tongue 
with peculiar rapidity. 

^^ You are not going to smoke," observed Mrs. Goodman junior. 

^* These ladies, Tm sure, will not mind it," said Horace. 

*^ Oil ! certainly not !"* simultaneously exclaimed the majority of the 
ladies, at the same time bringing out their scent-bottles to prepare for 
the infliction. 

^' Mrs. Shre well cannot bear it, I know," said the junior Mrs. Good- 
man. 

^^ Oh, never mind me !" cried that amiable lady. 

** If that's the case," said Horace, " why of course" — 

** Dear me, no ! by no means ! I never allow Mr. Shrewell to smoke, 
but I don't at all mind it. On the contrary I think it rather pleasant 
than not" 

*' Of course !"— exclaimed Horace, who well knew that the old lady 
would cough with sufiBcient violence to make her black in the face in 
five minutes. " Of course !" and after pulling out a peculiar description 
of lncifer,'the nipping of which sent fortli a viSanous odour, he proceeded 
to ignite his cheroot. 

'Diis being the signal for starting, Valentine gladly left the room, and 
was instantly followed by Horace and his cheroot, to the unspeakable 
gratification of those amiable ladies of whom he was anything but 
ardently enamoured. 



72 LIFB AKD ADTBNTUBBa OF 

^* Now/' said Hoi«Ge» ^^ let ns be oflT/' and aeooidmgly he and yafen« 
tine started in the direction of the Haymarket^ both highly pleaaed at 
having eecaped* 

^ It strikes me," said Hoiaoe, on reaching Leioester-squaie* ^* thai 
we shall just be in time for old Leatherlungs ; and if so, you'll hare a 
bit of a treat to beffin with.'* 

^' Who's Leathenungs V enqnired Valentine. 

** That's only his professional name," replied Horace. ^^ His real 
name is Growlaway. He's in the Opera chorus, and a r^[ular tmmp 
he is too : this is the crib he patronises." And Valentine was dragged 
into a little dirty pot-house, and eyentually reached a dark room at the 
back. 

At first he was able to distinguish nothing, for in addition to the 
room being dark, it was densely filled with smoke, while a circular ven- 
tilator was rattling round and round at the rate of full thirty miles an 
hour. Horace, however, at once grasped the hand of a man who was 
smoking a remarkably long pipe, and when Valentine had been formally 
intiodnced to this gentleman, they all sat down cosily together. 

*^ Well, what are you going to stand V was the nrst question asked 
by Mr. Ghrowlaway. 

** Just whatever you like," replied Horace. ^^ What have yon been 
drinkinff ? 

'< Half and half," said Mr. Growlaway. 

^* That I can't stand,'' observed Horace. ^^ Let's have some brandy- 
and*water," and the chorister's eyes sparkled, and he pulled away at his 
pipe with additional perseverance, until the brandy-and-water arrived, 
when he as nearly as poenble swallowed the whole without taking his 
lips from the glass. 

^^ We want to go behind the scenes," said Horace. ^^ You can manage 
it for us, can't you V 

" Why," said Mr. Growlaway, ** they're getting so nasty particular, 
one doesn't know how to act. x on must take your chance, you know. 
Follow me right in. If you attempt to look round, you are done, for 
the/11 know in a moment you don't belong to the house." 

'^ All right," said Horace. 

^' But luid we not better pay at once ?" enquired Valentine. 

Horace smiled at his simplicity, and explained that no money was 
taken at the door they were to enter ; and it having been eventually 
arranged that they should follow the steps of Mr. Growlaway, Valentine 
paid for the brandy-and-water out of a well filled purse, which Growl- 
away no sooner saw than he suddenly recollected that he was going to 
have a benefit on the following Monday evening, at the Bull's-eye and 
Rat-trap Tavern, at the same time pulling out a bundle of tickets, five 
of which Valentine felt compelled to purchase, at the remarkably small 
chaige of half a sovereign, and they then proceeded at once to the stage 
door of the Italian Opera. 

Having passed the gate at the end of the hall, Mr. Growlaway inti- 
mated that all was quite safe, and they leisurely proceeded along a 
narrow dirty passage, which happened to be dimly illumined here and 



TAIENTTNB VOX. 73 

llicw ^tfi tile reinains of a narrow candle, deliberately stmkuig in the 
flobket of a tall tin lamp. 

On arriving at the end of this passage they ascended a ft)W stain 
%liich led to a vnde open space, in which certam painted people dis* 
gained as Brigands, and Peasants, and Spanish noblemen, and Tnrks^ 
were promenading. At the back sat a number of persons with their 
ahirt-sleeves tnckcd up drinking porter, wliiie above were suspended 
imAimerablo pulleys and ropes and ragged slips of painted canvass. On 
tlM left of tliis space stood what Valentine at first sight conceived to be 
m tall iron column, but which was in reality a round flight of cast iron 
atepa, and the gaily dressed people who were perpetually ascending, 
tnaparted the idea of a regiment of butterflies nmning up a corkscrew. 

" Now then," said Growlaway, darting up this singular flight of steps, 
and Horace and Valentine followed as fost as possible, and after twiriing 
round until they were perfectly giddy, they turned into a little fll^y 
room near the roof, in which about twenty individuals were dressing. 

lii this room Valentine at once seated himsdf upon the edge of an 
old chair with one arm and no bottom, which stood by the side of an 
imeitai washing stand, the top of which was secnred to the legs* with 
what might in its infancy have been a towel, twisted tightly and iir* 
gearibttsly hito the similitude of a rope, while in the hole stood a basin 
with about half a brim, which was occasionally supplied widi water 
from a brown stone jug, which happened to have neitlier a handle nor a 
Spout. 

As soon as the giddiness occasioned by the twirling ascent had gone off, 
Tafentlne directed his attention to the proceedings of the professional 

gttitlemen present, whose attitudes few could have failed to admire, 
ne was endeavouring to perfect himself in the bass part of the opening 
clK>nis, by leaning over a book and singing the notes with infinite spirit, 
and certainly looked extremely cool and interesting^ seeing that at that 
pafdeular time he had nothing on but his shirt ; another, in precisely 
the same costume with the exception of a pair of purple stockings, was 
engaged in making really desperate efforts to act ; a third who had 
nearly completed his disguise, was splitting his habiliments in all direc- 
tions, while striving to pull on a remarkable couple of buff cut-throat 
boots, which appeared to be about seven sizes too small ; a fourth was 
jnmping into a pair of pantaloons which might have been built for a 
twenty-stone Dutchman ; a fifth who had dressed for a high-bom 
Spaniard, and who looked like a journeyman tinker ineftffy was adjusting 
the mantle of another noble person, who, in order that no time might be 
lost, was eating the remains of a cold pork-chop, which he had brought 
¥rith bread and mustard in the crown of his hat 

In the middle of the room stood a table, round which several other 
professional gentlemen were engaged in giving the last tranquil touches 
to their formidable countenances, which resuly as a whole looked ex- 
tremely picturesque. One was arching his eyebrows with a piece of 
btimt cork ; another was bringing out his nose by drawing black zigzag 
lines on either side with a pieoe of smoked wire ; another, being a peasant, 
wiA establishing upon his long upper lip an exact representation of a 



74 LIFE AND ADYBNTURES OF 

pair of military moustaches ; another was laying on his cheeks with a 
rabbit's foot, a thick coat of red brickdust upon a waistcoat of pomatum ; 
another was endeavouring to adjust a judge's wig, which had adorned 
the heads of a thousand professional gentlemen before him, while another 
was transforming a waggoner's hat into the perfect similitude of an 
Italian noble's, by carefiilly pinning the brim up in front, and making 
an additional hole in the crown for the reception of a long peacock's 
feather. 

*^ Will you not dress and go on ?" enquired Horace, when Valentine 
had feasted his eyes on this scene, ^' you will not get a view of the house 
imless you do." 

** Oh, with all my heart !" replied Valentine, who seemed rather to 
like the idea than not. 

**Of course!" observed Horace, throwing towards him a pair of 
yellow tights, which he had taken from a heap. *' On with 'em and 
then you'll enjoy your noble self." 

*^ But I'd rather not strip," said Valentine, approving of the cut of 
the tights by no means. 

" Well, tuck up your trowsers, and wind this affair round your 
calves" — said one who appeared to be the master of the ceremonieSy 
throwing several yards of red and blue worsted binding, which was 
intended to convey to some distance a silken idea — ^ you can as well be 
a brigand as not." 

Accordingly up went the trousers above the knee, and round went 
the blue and red binding, when a jacket with spangles was selected and 
put on, and the man who had been fetching the professional gentlemen 
broad and cheese and half-and-half, politely offered to make up the face 
of the brigand. 

As soon as this interesting operation had been performed, the overtnie 
commenced, and the call-boy came up to announce the important fact, con- 
ceiving probably that the whole of the professional gentlemen might sud- 
denly have been seized with total deafness. Valentine just caught a glance 
of himself, and a beautiful brigand he fancied he looked ! He then turned 
round to exhibit to Horace, but the chair in which Horace had been 
sitting, was at that moment occupied by ^' a malignant and a turban'd 
Turk," tying up liis garters. He had no time to make farther scrutiny 
then, being pressed towards the door by the professional group ; he 
therefore, conceiving that he should find his companion below, rushed 
down the iron stair-case with the stream, and having remained at the 
side until the curtain drew up, tucked a little plump peasant girl under 
his arm and gracefully made his debut. 

It happened to be one of the grand nights of the season, and the 
house had an exceedingly brilliant effect. All the boxes were fuU, and 
while the people appeared to be dovetailed into the pit, the spacioua 
gallery presented one mass of human beings, which reached from the 
rail to the deling. 

As soon as he could see clearly over the foot-lights, which had in the 
first instance dazzled his eyes, Valentine felt that as he was there oe- 
tonsibly with a view to the exercise of his talent, he might as well 



VALENTINB VOX. 75 

oommence operations as not ; and as he saw a small personage in one of 
the hoxes on tl^ie second tier near the proscenium, appkuding the Prima 
Donna with extraordinary vehemence, hy shouting out, ^^ bravo ! bra- 
vissimo V* and clapping his hands most violently, with the obvious view 
of catching the eye of the lady, he thought that he would proceed 
to promote the views of that personage, at least so far as to render him 
an object of attraction. 

Accordingly when the applause, which succeeded a really delightful 
soena, had subsided, he dexterously threw his voice into the identical 
box in which the lady-killing personage in question was seated, and 
exclaimed intones ofecstacy, *^ Beautiful! ye eods! oh! excellent! 
aever heard an3rthing like it ! encore ! delicious, aemme !*' 

^^ Order I order !" cried at least a hundred voices on the instant. 

'^I tell you it is beautiful! demme! did you ever? bravissimo! 
encore, encore, encore Y' exclaimed Valentine ; and the small individual, 
whose voice he had assumed, sat twiddling his whiskers and grinning 
like an ape taking a bird's-eye view of the coimtry from a descending 
parachute. 

^^ Ord«r I order !" again became the general cry, and every eye was 
directed towards the particular box in question. 

^^ Demme !" continued Yalentine, *^ don't I say that it's beautiful ; 
and am I not perfectly in order ? Did you ever hear any thing half so 
magnificent ? She's a great creature — oh ! she's a great creature, demme I" 

^^ Silence !" exchumed several highly indignant persons in the pit, 
*^ tuja«hira out!" 

^' I repeat it," cried Valentine, " she is a great creature." 

Loud shouts of ^^ Order, order ! silence ! turn him out ! drunk !" 
now proceeded from every part of the house, while the little ill-used 
gentleman, in a state of interesting unconsciousness, sat wondering why 
every glass in the house, both single and double barrelled was so 
impertinently brought to bear upon him. 

During the whole of this time the legitimate performances were 
stopped ; and as the heroine of the opera had struck a certain position 
from which she could not possibly move before she had uttered a 
certain exclamation, and could not possibly give utterance to that 
exdamation before she had received a certain cue, she very quietly 
intimated the extreme propriety of dropping the curtain, which was 
accordingly done amid general uproar. 

The very moment the curtain had fallen, the attention of the little 
individual was arrested by two persons who had been deputed to 
expostulate with him on the excessive inconvenience of the course which 
tliey naturally imagined he had been pursuing. To these persons he 
was heard to proclaim his perfect innocence with considerable earnest- 
ness and force, but they were seized with a fit of the most inflexible 
incredulity, and marvelled that he should so far disgrace the name he 
bore, as to descend to the utterance of so deliberate a falsehood as that 
of declaring that the interruption had not proceeded from him. Yet 
what could they do ? They could have sworn, and would have sworn, 
that it had proceeded from him and him alone : yet here was a man, a 



7^ LIFB ANV ADVBNTUBES OF 

highly distingttislied patron of the opera, a nobleman ! who dedared 
tliat if they Aad thus sworn they would have committed an act of 
perjury I What could they do ? Why they could do no more than they 
did-'^-ejqness a hope that the interruption might not be renewed and 
retire. 

As the little ill-used personage immediately after this became invisi- 
ble to the audience, the uproar speedily subsided ; and when tlie curtain 
again rose the accomplished heroine was discovered in precisely the 
same attitude as that in which she stood before it had fallen. The 
long-expected cue was then given, and then came the piercing exclama- 
tion, and tlien a loud burst of enthusiastic applause, during which the 
group of choristers marched off the staee, and as Valentine of conrae 
was compelled to march with them, uie audience wero left to the 
uninterrupted enjo3rment of the recitative^ the duetts, and the trios that 
were to follow. 

Now, when Valentine had ascertained that the ladies and gwtlemen 
of the choir had two or three thousand bars' rest, he felt it to be his 
duty to keep them out of that mischief into which they wero display- 
ing a disposition to enter by glancing, and kissing, and squeezing, 
and whispering the softest possiUe nonsense to each other as they 
stood indismminately at the wings. Acting upon this amiable 
impulse, he looked anxiously round with the view of occupying their 
minds with something of a moro virtuous tendency, for he al that 
moment felt more strongly than ever that it was absolutely incumbent 
upon every man to check the progress of indiscretion by qH the means 
at his command. 

Scarcely had he turned from these professional ladies and gentlemen, 
whose eyes appeared to be swimming in liquid naughtiness, when he 
saw about thirty large pieces of old scenery resting against the wall, 
and conceived that he could not conveniently promote the great cause 
of morality more than by setting the gentlemen to work to remove 
them. 

With this extremely laudable object in view he therefore introduced 
behind the old scenery in question a shrill cry of *^ murder !" at which, 
of course, the ladies and gentlemen started and stared at each other in a 
really interesting state of amazement. The cry was repeated ; and the 
ladies became a£krmed, and crept to the panting bosoms of the gentle- 
men for protection. Again the cry was heard, and the excitement 
became more intense, but as the gentlemen were equally afirighted with 
the ladies, and manifested no disposition to move, Valentine exclaimed 
in the voice of a female, " Release me 1 oh ! help ! get me out ! remove 
the scenes ! remove the scenes or I faint !** 

" Why don't you come here and lend a hand ?" cried one of the car- 
penters who had been attracted to the spot, " don't you hear ! haven't 
none on you got any bowels ?" 

^' This forcible appeal to their humanities had the effect of inducing 
the professional gentlemen to approach the old scenes in a body, when 
Valentine introduced a low melancholy moan which inspired them 
with the conviction that unless aid came speedily all would bo over. 



VALENTINE VOX. 77 

They th^efore at once set to work, regardless of the dust which lay 
upon each scene an inch thick, regardless of the splendour of their 
dzesses, and of the dignity they had assumed, in fact, regardless of all 
but the removal of those frames which they naturally imagined were 
pressing the life out of some one. 

*^ 8toop down !'' cried the carpenter, when about half the scenes 
had been removed, ^' stoop down and creep out at the bottom." 

^ I cannot ; I cannot ! oh ! do, do, Temove them !" cried Yakntine 
in the voice of one gasping for breath. 

**• Now bear a hand gentlemen I bear a hand — quick !" cried the 
carpentw, and the nobles, and the brigands, and the pure unsophisti- 
cated peasantry, already completely covered with thick black dust, 
again set to work with unprecedented zeal, while the ladies, whose 
natural curioaty had subdued their alarm, were most anxiously peeping 
as each scene was removed to ascertain who on earth it cotdd be, and 
expressing certain rather unequivocal suspicions, having reference to 
the purpose for which a lady had thus been induced to get behind. 

As each scene increased both in wdght and in siae, the difficulty of 
removing them at length became extreme ; but Valentine being resolved 
to keep them at it, stimulated them perpetually to renewed exertions, 
by renewing his cries for instant succour. Every man who was not 
actually engaged upon the stage was called upon loudly to assist ; and 
as the necessary, or rather the required assistance was soon found to be 
incompatible with the progress of the opera, the lessee directed the 
curtain to be dropped, and went forward to state that a lamentable 
accident had unaccountably occurred, and to solicit the indulgence of 
the audience for a few moments, which the audience displayed a highly 
laudable disposition to concede. 

All hands were now at work with unquestionable energy, and they 
rattled the old scenes about in a style in which they never had been 
rattled before. On the removal of each a dense cloud of dust descended, 
but neither the nobles, the peasants, nor the brigands, were to be de- 
terred from the performance of an act of pure humanity by any consi- 
deration of that kind. They worked away like colliers, and were nearly 
a. black, while the pe»p>»tion gushed frL eveiy pore. ' 

At length, by dint of almost super-human exertions, they got to the 
three last scenes, and as they appeared to be infinitely superior to the 
rest in point of weight, it was suggested that instead of removing them 
bodily, it would answer every purpose if their bases were drawn from 
the wall. This excellent suggestion was acted upon at once, but Valen- 
tine would not cease to moan. 

^' Vill you not pe apel to come now out of it V* enquired the stage 
manager, who was a Frenchman, and who prided himself upon his 
abiHty to sj^eak En^ish with the purity and force of a native. 

'* Oh ! no, no/* cried Valentine faintly, " remove them— oh ! do re- 
move them all ?" 

^^ Vale, vale ; put you mosh pe ver pig if you vas non pe apel to 
come avay now. Vat for you vas git pehind a tall V 



78 LIFE AND ADTBNTURB3 OF 

^^ Quick 1 oh quick !*' cried Valentine ; and another large scene was 
removed. 

" Now giv to me you hand," said the stage-manager, kneeling and 
extending his arm behind the two remaining scenes. '^ Now ten, now," 
he continued, '' come and I sail pull you out." 

^^ I cannot reach it," said Valentine, ^* oh ! give me some water.*' 

^^ Poor ting !" exclaimed the amiable stage-manager, *^ some vatare !" 
he shouted to the men who were standing by, and some water was im- 
mediately brought in a can which he placed behind the scenes, and 
pushed as' far as he could reach. 

As there were but two scenes now remaining, they were pulled 
further out from the wall ; and as the moaninff had ceased, and the 
general impression was that the female had fainted, a lanthom was 
brought, with which the manager went behind, but in a moment fell 
over the can and extinguished the light. Another lanthom, however, 
was instantly procured, and he then began to prosecute his search 

" Vere vas you ?" said he, " vere you creep to, poor ting ? Come to 
me ! vere sail you pe got ? wre te tepple hap you creep ?*' he continued 
in a most emphatic tone ; and becoming somewhat alarmed on being 
able to discover no one, he came out at once and exclaimed with a shrug, 
^' tere is nopotty in tere a tall !" 

^' What r cried the carpenter, seiadne the lanthom, ^^ 111 find some- 
body, ril bet a cro¥m," and in he rushed, but in an instant returned 
with the confirmation of the interesting fact upon his tongue. 

" Well ! have you got her out V enquired the lessee, approaching. 

'^ Non, che vas nevare in tere a tall !" replied the astounded stage- 
manager. 

" Not what !" cried the lessee. 

** Nopotty vas tere." 

*'^ Pooh ! nonsense ! she has fainted. Here, give me a light,** and in 
went the highly indignant lessee ; ^' are you sure," he enquired, after 
having looked in viun, " that she did not glide out to escape detection ?" 

'^ Te tepple a pit !* replied the manager. ^' I hap von eye up<m him 
hole all te time ! che could not possible." 

^' You don't mean to suppose that you'll make me believe she was 
not there, do you ?" 

^' It is ver extraordinaire, ver mosh rum, put tere vas noting ven I vas 
go in but te vatare vich ve place in ourselfs." 

As the audience at this moment began t6 manifest impatience, the 
leasee, conceiving it to have been some favourite of the stage-manager 
whom he had aUowed to escape, uttered several indignant exclamations, 
and ordered the legitimate performances to be immediately resumed. 
The principals engaged in the next scene were therefore summoned, and 
the curtain again rose despite the earnest entreaties of the chorus-master, 
who viewed the extremely dirty condition of those whom he led with a 
feeling of horror ; for, independently of the dust which adhered firmly 
to their pomatum-covered countenances, streams of perspiration thickly 
coated with vermilion, had established themselves in all directions, and 
looked like distant rivulets of veritable gore. The necessity for allowing 



TALENTINB VOX. 79 

ibeae {ndesaonal individuals time to beautify themselves, was therefore 
obvious to the meanest capacity ; but the leasee was inflexible, and, as 
shortly after this the next ehorus was called, on they went as they were. 

The excitement which at this particular moment prevailed caused 
them naturally enough to strike up the wrong chorus — ^a circumstance 
which so highly incensed a fat ruby-nosed person who was prompting 
in a little covered pigeon-hole just above the foot^lights ; that after 
shouting violently ^^ Cedi il campo alia vendetta ! — cedi il campo alia 
vendetta /" he was about to pitch his book at the head of an inmvidual 
who looked like a long-faced fiend who had just been scratched and 
pdted by a mob of young imps, when the band at once ceased operations. 
This remarkable little incident had singularly enough the effect of bring- 
ing the professional group to their recollection. They therefore com- 
menced the right chorus at once, and after dashing clean through it in a 
style of which novelty was its only recommendation, the first act con- 
cluded amidst a volley of hisses, which five thousand serpents might have 
endeaTOured to emulate in vain. 

Between the first and second acts the professional gentlemen were 
boaily engaged in washing and repainting their faces, while the ladies 
were wondering who it was that had got behind the scenery, being all 
of them firmly convinced that it was one of the choir, and that she had 
glided from that equivocal position unseen* The stage-manager, how- 
ever, with whom they were conversing, would not admit even the bare 
possibility of such an escape. '' Tere v«s put von vay," said he, '^ for 
to come out of te place, and I hat my eye upon him^ and nopotty pass, 
and so terefore it vas pe te tepple if it vas any potty a tall, and he vas 
knock me town ven I entare, and ten fly avay vit himself.'' 

During the whole of the time the professional gentlemen were making 
themselves fit to be seen, Valentine was highly amused at their ridicu- 
lous fluid most improbable surmises. It was, however, at length carried 
unanimously, that whoever she was she was really *^ no better than she 
should be," but how she escaped from behind was a mystery which they 
all declared their utter inability to so1vq« 

The caU-boy now entered to summon the choristers who descended 
and the second act commenced. The audience were evidently piqued 
about something which might have been easily explained ; but as the 
immediate object of Valentine was to restore them to perfect good 
humour, he directed his voice into the middle of the pit, and exclaimra in 
a half-suppressed tone, '^ mind your pockets." 

No sooner had this simple exclamation been uttered, than a simul- 
taneous movement on the part of the gentlemen proved how extremely 
anxious they were to profit by the advice which it conveyed ; and 
while each was ascertaining if all he had brought with him were safe, he 
cast an eye of unwarrantoble suspicion upon every individual in his 
immediate vicinity. 

^'Ladies! have a care T shouted Valentine; and the rustling of 
silk dresses became really unexampled. <^ My watch !" he continued 
in the voice of a female, '^ you have got it ! my watch ! oh my dear 
little watch 1" 



80 LIFE AND ADyBNTURBS OF 

At this interaating moment the entire pit rose^ whik the ponoae sn 
the boxes looked with great anxiety, but, to the perfect amaaeiiient 
of them all, they were utterly unable to discover the lady from whom 
the said dear little watch had been stolen. 

*' Officers ! officers !" cried Valentine, assuming the same voice; and 
officers from various parts of the house rushed at once into the pit. 
" I've got him !" continued Valentine. 

^^ Where 1" cried a gentleman armed with a staff. 

'^ Here ! officers ! officers !" and those respectable functionaries 
followed tlie sound with considerable zeal and dexterity. 

'' You know that you have it ! you know it too well ! oh, give it me 
back and 1*11 let you escape." 

'^ No I hold him I — ^hold him 1" cried an officer, who rushed to the 
i^ot from which the sound had apparently proceeded, but having 
reached the point proposed, he was stung with disappointment* He 
could find neither a person who had stolen a watch, nor a person from 
whom any watch had been stolen. The people around him were staling 
at each other with astonishment, he could not obtain even the slightest 
information, and as the voice was heard no more, it was taken at once 
for granted, that the felony had been compromised. 

With this conviction impressed deeply upon their minds, the people 
gradually resumed their seats, and when order was somewhat restored, 
anotlier desperate attempt was made to proceed with the opera. 

On ihe preliminary chord being' struck by the gentlemen in the 
orchestra, who had just taken snuff all round with extraordinary vio- 
lence — four of the principal artistes, dashed forward in a rage to sing 
an affecting quartette. Tliey commenced witn an apparent o<mtempi 
for the music, and proceeded in an extremely careless style, as if anxious 
to let the audience know that they didn't care whether they sang it or 
not. In order, therefore, that the house might be somewhat enlivened, 
Valentine, before the quartette was half finished, introduced a faithful 
echo into the omnibus box ; and as it was brought to bear upon some 
of the Prima Donna's brilliant passages, that lady gave a series of 
granite-piercing glances at the echo, and boimced off the stage with 
more fire than grace. 

The progress of the opera was, therefore, aeain checked, and the 
audience b^me highly indignant. They called loudly and imperatively 
upon the lessee to appear, and when he did appear they would not 
permit him to speak. They saw him bowing with due humility, and 
trembling with due violence, but although they demanded an explanation 
of these irreguhir proceedings, they would by no means allow liim to 
comply with that demand. As he bent his graceful body nearly double, 
and shrugf^ed, and grinned, and grunted, and placed his hand with 
great solemnity upon his heart, he seemed to be asking himself a series 
of highly important questions, and answering himself in the most un<- 
satisfactory manner possible. At length, however, he ventured in an 
unrivalled attitude, to glide very cleverly off the stage^ with the view 
qf persuading the Prima Donna to re-appear. But he found that thai 
lady was stiU inexorable. Nothing could induce her to yield. She 



VALBNTTNE VOX. 81 

declared thai she would rather sufler death than go forward again then ; 
and after having knocked one of her attendants fairly down, and pitched 
m looking-glass dexterously at the head of the other, she vented her 
indignation upon the unhappy lessee with extraordinary force and 
(aiect. 

The noise in the hody of the house still continued ; for as the lessee 
had anticipated, the audience viewed his departure as a mark of disre- 
spect. He peeped through a hole in the curtain and trembled ; then 
listeiied at the wings, and kicked a carpenter for sneezing ; when, on 
being repeatedly caued for in tones that were particularly unpleasing, 
he mrew his hat at an innocent scene -shifter with unwarrantable vio- 
lence, and went forward yriih the most profound humility again. His 
feappeanmce was hailed vnth a tremendous burst of anger, but he 
boldly maintained his ground until the luogs of the audience began to 
manifest unequivocal symptoms of exhaustion ; when, getting as near the 
foot-lights as he comfortably could, he begged leave to announce, that in 
conasqiience of the sudden and Severe indisposition of Madame Placidi, 
Madame Giatiani, vnth their kind permission, would have the honour 
of goms through the remaining scenes. 

On wis proposition being put to the vote, it was impossible to decide 
whether the ayes or the noes had it ; the lessee, however, assumed that 
his motion had been carried by an overwhelming majority, and left the 
stage in order to prevail upon Madame Gratiani, whom envy had placed 
upon the shelf— to go through the remainder of the opera. The lady 
at first expressed her unwillingness to do this, but when the lessee had 
portrayed the deep enthusiasm with which he stated the announce- 
ment of her name had been hailed, the glowing picture re-inspired her 
with hope, and she hastened to prepare for a tnumph. Just, however^ 
as Madame Gratiani was ready to go on, the astounding fact became 
known to Madame Placidi, who so suddenly recovered from her serious 
indispodtion, that she insisted upon finishing the part herself. The 
lessee, as a sort of punishment, declared that as she would not, when 
she felt that it could not be done without her, she should not now she 
knew that it could ; but this had no other efiect, than that of making 
her the more desperate, and as the lessee had had many striking proofe 
of her amiable disposition, he eventually conceived it to be more discreet 
under the circumstances to yield. He, therefore, appeared before the 
audience again, to announce the extraordinary fact of Madame Placidi 
having happily recovered, and the performances were once more 
resumed. 

Now, as the lessee had been unable to punish Madame Placidi, 
Valentine determined that, as a mere matter of justice, he would. He 
therefore, again gave breath to the interesting echo, which at length 
seemed to amuse the audience rather than not, but nothing could exceed 
in power, the rage of Madame Placidi. Whenever she came off the 
stage, no soul dared to approach her. She stamped and ground her 
teeth, and bit her lips, until they bled ; and if, during her progress from 
the wings to her room, any little inanimate object — such for instance, as 
a brush or a banner — happened to stand in her way, she seized it at 



82 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

once, dashed it violently to the ground, and trampled upon it with in- 
effable scorn. 

Under all these ciroumstances, therefore, the expediency of cutting 
the opera short, was suggested with great feeling by the bewildeiea 
stage-manager ; and as this really excellent suggestion was approved in 
the proper quarter, the finale came before it was expected, but it cer- 
tainly appeared by no means to be on that account the less welcome. 

" Now," said a gentleman, who looked as if he might have been half 
an Italian and half a Turk, but whom Valentine eventually found to be 
Horace, ^^ let us change our togs at once, and we shall be down before 
the ballet commences/ 

Accordingly, up he uid Valentine ran, and after having hastily 
metamorphosed themselves into something bearing the semblance of 
respectable Christians, they descended the cast-iron column once more. 

The stage now assumed a totally difierent aspect. The curtain was 
still down^ and innumerable sylph-like forms, with dresses so short, 
and necks so white, and cheeks so rosy, and ancles so thin, were gaily 
flitting about in all directions. In the back ground a group of little 
fairies were reclining on a piece of deal board so paintea as to convey 
the idea of a bank of wild roses, while on either side a row of angelic 
creatures were engaged in lifting up their legs to an extraordinary height 
— ^an operation which they repeated with so much perseverance^ that 
Valentine positivdy blushed. He felt it to be impossible, however, for 
▼ice to reside in beings who looked so amiable, so pure ! yet while he 
was willing to attribute these games, in whicli they seemed to take 
delight, to a buoyant, playful spirit ; he nevertheless contended within 
himself, that they were games which ought strictly to be confined to 
the play-room. But then, oh 1 how beautiful they appeared ! so inno- 
cent — oh ! so happy ! 

'^ Qet along, you beast !" cried one of them, addressing a very vene- 
rable looking gentleman, who had transferred the roseate hue of her 
cheeks to the palms of his white kid gloves. " 1*11 slap your face for 
you, you old fool !" observed the angel in continuation, and in driving 
past Valentine, she left a great portion of the snowy whiteness of her 
neck upon the sleeve of his coat, while the venerable old gentleman, 
trying with all his might to look fascinating, continued to hobble after 
her with all the youthful agility he could assume. Valentine was 
amazed — '^ Is it possible that such an exclamation," thought he, '^ could 
have proceeded from so elegant a creature as that !*' And he looked at 
his coat-sleeve again ; but as he subsequently heard this identical angd 
call the venerable gentleman in question her dear, he fancied that lie 
must have run against either a baker or a newly whitewashed- wall ; bnt 
could by no means obliterate the impression, that although tiie old 
gentleman might be her grandpapa, and very tiresome, moreover, and 
teasing, it was still extremely wrong of her to call him a beast. 

Having taken a general survey of this interesting scene, he proceeded 
towards a group of aristocratic individuals — the majority of whom were 
about sixty years of age — near the curtain. They had formed tli^mselves 
into a circle, and in the centre a most beautiful girl was dancing appaiently 



VALENTINE VOX. 83 

in a state of the most perfect unconBciousneas of the presence of those 
by whom she was surrounded. Her hair was studded with flowers and 
golden combs, while her beautifully symmetrical neck was adorned with 
a row of sparkling diamonds secured to her bosom hy almost invisible 
pieces of thread. Her dress was of the purest whiteness and most 
delicate texture, and as it scarcely descended twelve inches below her 
hips, it had the appearance of an open parasol, a? she twirled round 
and round upon the point of her toe. While bounding, and pirouetting, 
and cutting all sorts of graceful capers, the elderly gentleman around her 
appeared to be lost in admiration ; hut there was in the countenances of 
them all an expression so pectdiar^ that Valentine was utterly unable 
to divine what description of feeling it portrayed. 

*^ Well," said Horace, who had just escaped from one of the fairies, 
" what do you think of em, eh ? Fine animals, ant they ?" 

** They are indeed elegant creatures," said Valentine ; ^' but don't it 
strike you that they are somewhat indelicate V 

" Indelicate !" echoed Horace with a smile, " why you didn't expect 
to find much delicacy hero ?'' 

'^ But look !" exclaimed Valentine, pointing to a sylph whose left 
foot was on a level with the crown of her head ; ^^ now that appears to 
me to be highly improper." 

Horace again smiled, and after a few more equally innocent observa- 
tions, on the part of Valentine, exclaimed, '^ Why, what do you think 
these old venerables come here for ? Dont you see how spicily they 
^oftt over the scene ? But look presently at those who have their 
funilies in the house. See what out-and-out jolly long faces they'll 
pull ! Why hy the time they set round to their wives and daughters, 
who are perhaps quit6 as beautiful as the creatures that are here, they 
will all look as moral as maggots." 

At tUs moment a bell began to ring, when the stage was cleared, and 
up went the curtain. As Horace had predicted, the majority of the 
old gentlemen at once trotted off, and as Valentine had learned quite 
sufficient to convince him that virtue was not the distinguishing charao- 
toristic of those who remained, he felt that he might probably be con- 
finriiig an essential benefit upon society by subjecting them to a grievous 
disappointment. 

** Wait for me, love, in the hall !" said he, whispering in the ear of 
an ancient individual with the palsy, as a nymph glided past him to go 
upon the stage. 

'* Yes, yes, my little dear, yes I will," said the old gentleman, con- 
ceiving that the invitation had proceeded from the nymph ; and he rubbed 
his hands rapturously, and pressed his withered lips, and sighed, and 
smiled, and looked as killing as he conveniently could. 

*' Oh, monstrous !" cried Valentine, throwing his voice behind the 
oldgentleman ; ^^ for shame, sir, an old man like you !" 

ll%e pakied old gentleman turned round amazed ; but beine unable 
to asoertftin whence the sound had proceeded, he inspired at that 
moment some feeling which induced him to move from the spot with 
ApoesiUe dispatch. 



64 LIFE AKD ADYBNTVIIBS OF 

In this labour of love, Yalentixie was zealously engaged for the neixt 
half hour, and when he had made about fifty appointments, the whole 
of which were to be kept in the hall, he was urged by Horace to quit 
the scene, which he did without being by any means satisfied that its 
tendency was to promote the cause of virtue or to cultivate those feel- 
ings which bind man to man. 

Horace now endeavoured to prevail upon Valentine to accompany 
him to what he called his ^' dub," a large house in the vicinity of the 
theatre^ the door of which was partially open, and which appeared to be 
brilliantly illumined ; but as it was then twelve o'clock, and as he 
wished to rise early in the morning, he excused himself, and having 
caUed a coach, he left Horace to keep some appointment at the *^ dub, 
and proceeded to the house of his guardian alone. 



CHAPTER XII. 



valentine's trip to gravesend. 



With all their knowledge of the human heart, and of the springs of 
human actions, of the impulses, the promptings, and the guides of the 
soul, philosophers 4iave never yet deigned to dedde whether it be in 
reality natural for a perfectly unsophisticated youth to view the general 
conduct of our dashing metropolitan rips with contempt or emulation. 
Such a youth, if he be an observer at all, cannot £Eiil to perceive in those 
rips the total absence of every virtuous or really honourable principle ; 
he cannot fail to mark that they are selfish, heartless, brutal, and dead 
to every sense of common justice ; and yet our grave men wiU nolf 
honour the world by dedding whether nature inspires him who perceives 
all this with the spirit of rivalry or that of disgust. 

Now this is indeed a most extraordinary piece of business ; but, 
without dwelling loug upon a subject so profound — without stopping 
the current of these adventures to enquire whether the feelings which 
actuate those who delight in setting honour, virtue, justice, and decency 
at defiance, are attributable to property, blood, or education, — ^it may 
be said with perfect safety, that Valentine, whether naturally or not, 
was impressed with no very high notions of Horace, with reference 
either to the strength of his head or to the soundness of his heart, for 
having watched his actions narrowly, and viewed the direct tendency of 
each, he had seen quite suffident to convince him, that circumstances 
might make him a really great villain, but never coidd make him a really 
great man. 

With this conviction deeply impressed upon his mind, he wound up 
his watch and went to sleep, and having dreamt of fairy land through- 
out the night, he rose unusually early, ate a most substantial breakfast^ 
and started at once for the Steam Packet Wharf. 

It happened to be an extremely hot morning, and as the sun was' 



VALBNTINB VOX. 85 

making desperate efforts to send its bright rays through the vapovs 
which mantled the earth, the sparrows, resolved to do business while 
they were able, were hopping about gaily from tile to tile^ and from 
brick to brick, well knowing that when the mist bad been dispelled, 
those tiles and those bricks would be too hot to hold them. 

As he proceeded, the public vehicles were rattling over the stones with 
remarkable velocity, and while the horses were adorned with blue and 
yellow rosettes, with the view of enabling them to enjoy tliemselves 
with the knowledge of its being Sunday, each driver proudly sported 
his gayest clothes and the largest bunch of wall-flowers a penny could 
procure. 

As Valentine drew near the whar^ crowds of persons were hastening 
in precisely the same direction : some with children in their anns, some 
with baskets of provisions in their hands, and others who, although with 
neither children nor provisions, appeared just as happy as those who 
had both. 

It was interesting to analyse the mass of individuals who crowded 
the deck of the vessel, for they indicated their social positions as plainly 
as if each had been stamped with a '^ distinctive die. 

There stood the mechanic, the creases in whose coat told plainly not 
only that it was worn but once a week, but that infinite care had been 
taken to preserve the pristine beauty of the nap by keeping it folded in 
a trunk or a drawer. There was, however, a strongly marked differ- 
ence between the married and the single mechanic ; for while the former 
was calculating precisely how much the trip would cost, the latter, in 
the plenitude of his liberality, was priding himself upon the force with 
which he sent to perdition all idea of the expense. Nor was the dis- 
tinction between the married and the single of this class developed by 
the gentlemen alone : the countenance of the married lady displayed an 
anxiety about her little household gods, and a strong disposition to show 
her authority as a wife by finding £Eralt with every trifling thing that 
occurred, while the single lady had little thought indeed of home, and 
being resolved to appear highly delighted with every thing, laughed 
very merrily at anything or nothing. But the mode of wearing the 
shawl was alone sufi&cient to mark the distinction between them ; for 
while the married lady would have hers spread upon her back in order 
that the whole of the pattern might be seen, the single lady carried hers 
gracefully upon her arm, with the only ostensible view of showing that 
she had such a thing as a shawl in her possession. 

Aloof from these persons stood those who kept chandlers', butchers', 
and green-grocers' shops ; and each gentleman belonging to this class 
prid^ himself especially upon having a handsome turn-out by his side 
in the sliape of his ^^ missis," — a lady who not only dresses herself, but 
superintends the adornment of her husband. He must wear his chain thus, 
and his shirt pin thus, and as she allows herself only, to tie his cravat, 
she has, of course, whatever knot she may happen to fancy. His hair 
must go so, and his waistcoat so— in a word, there is nothing in which 
she has not a hand, for although it may be true that she permits him to 
shave iiis own chin, he must he careful not to place his domestic peace in 



86 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

peril by spoiling the shape of his whiskers. With regard to the adorn- 
ment of her own person, she exercises of course, her nndoubtedprerogatiye, 
by wearmg precisely whatever she thinks proper. If she cannot procure a 
couple of red roses sufficiently large, she will establish a brace of becom- 
ing sunflowers between her cap and bonnet, the size of which latter 
afnir is invariably immense ; and she will have a long white veil and a 
plume of feath^s, whether veils and feathers be worn oy the aristocnunr 
or not ; and beyond all dispute when ladies in this sphere are dressed, 
they are dressed, for there never did appear in any rainbow a colour 
that they have not got something about them to match. But even 
these with their husbands did not constitute in fact the elite of the 
vessel ; there were very, very different beings on board ; — the milliners, 
the shopmen, and the clerks ! — ^but although the clerks and shopmen 
might be said to form one class of persons, the difference between even 
them was distinctly developed, for the clerks had pale fiEMes and delicate 
hands, while the faces of the shopmen were full and their hands red as 
blood. There was moreover something in the expression of the eye, 
by which tliis distinction was marked. The eyes of the clerks were 
comparatively quiet and unassuming, but the shopmen had really very 
impudent eyes, and while they were lost in admiration of the ladies, the 
clerks appeared lost in admiration of themselves. 

When tlie dodc struck ten between five and six hundred individuals 
bad managed to establish themselves upon the deck, and as the band, 
consisting of a harp, a violin, and a fife, began to play a higlily popular 
tune, the boat started. Ginger beer and bottled stout were in immediate 
nquisition, and while many of the unencumbered gentlemen were 
smoking their cigars, Valentine was learning the various orders that 
were |;iven by the Captain through the boy who stood just above the 
pUoe m which the engine was working. 

Tlie vessel had not proceeded far, when, fanc3nng that he could 
imitate the voice of the boy exactly, he determined to try the efiect of 
the experiment ; and as he had become quite au /ait to the orders that 
were given, the very moment the boat had passed the shipping, he com- 
menced with " Ease ar !" 

*' No no ; go on," said the captain.^ 

" Go on !" cried the boy. 

*^ Ease ar I" shouted Valentine again. 

**" Who told you to ease her ?*' said the Captain to the boy. 

**• Stop ar !" cried Valentine, and the engine stopped at once. 

•* What are you about, sir!*' shouted tlie Captain, "you'd better 
mind what you are after. Go on sir, and let's have no more of that 
nonsense." 

** Go on \" cried the boy, who couldn't exactly understand it, al- 
though he looked round and scratched his head with great energy. 

At this moment a wherry 'Was seen just a-head waiting to put three 
passengers on board, and as the vessel approached her, the Captain 
raised his hand. 

** Ease ar !" cried the boy who was watching that hand, and as it 
moved agiun, he added " stop ar !" when the steps were let down, and 



VALENTINB VOX. 87 

a man stood ready with a boat-hook secured by a rope, while tlie 
waterman was pulling away with all the strength he had in him. 

'^ Go on r* cried Valentine, just as the boat had reached the side, and 
the Tessel dashed away and left the wherry behind her. 

^' Stop her !*' shouted the Captain very angrily, ^ what is the matter 
with you, sir, this morning ?*' 

^^ Stop ar !" cried the innocent boy ; and the waterman, who was 
very old and not very strong, pulled away again as hard as he could 
pull ; but as he had to row against the tide, and had been left some 
considerable distance behind, it was a long time before he could manage 
to got up again, although he perspired very freely, lie did, however, 
at kngth succeed in gettmg alongside ; but just as he was reaching the 
steps again, Valentine cried, '' Move her astam !*' — when, as the vessel 
went back very fast with the tide, slie left the wherry some considerable 
distance ahead. 

*' Stop her ! you scoundrel ! go on ! What d*ye mean, sir ?" shouted 
the CapUun indignantly. 

" Stop ar ! — Go on !" cried the boy, who couldn't make it out exactly 
even then — ^* ease ar !" — ^he cried again, as the Captain waved his hand 
— ^'* stop ar !" 

^^ Go on I" cried Valentine, in precisely the same tone, and the vessel 
again left the wherry behind her. 

As the Captain, at this interesting moment^ threw his hat at 
the boy, and as the boy began to rub his head violently, as if it had 
struck him, the vessel proceeded so far before the order ^^ to go on," had 
been counteracted, that the ^atennan feeling that they were having a 
game with him, quietly gave the thing up. 

Now the Captain was really a remarkable man, but the chief cha- 
racteristics of his mind, were even more remarkable than those of his 
body. He had been a most extraordinary swearer, but having imbibed 
a propensity for literature and art, a ten months' quiet indulgence in 
that propensity had made him altogether a different individual. Instead 
of going, like a man without a soul, every evening to a neighbouring public 
house to smoke his pipe, and to have his stint, namely, seven four-penny- 
worths of hot gin-and- water, and he always knew when he had had that 
stint by the seven pewter spoons which he had placed in a row before him ; 
he kept philosophically at home, with the view of obtaining a perfect 
mastery over the subjects of Theology, Geology, Phrenology, and 
Physiology, and as for sir earing ! — it \nll be necessary only to say this, 
that he had sworn tliat he would never swear again. 

How, then, to express his feelings when irritated, became a difficulty 
which he had every day to surmount. He had not the least notion of 
bridling his passion ; his object was simply to bridle his tongue ; and 
as swearing — if use be indeed second nature — had clearly become 
natural to him, he was frequently in danger of bursting some very im- 
portant blood-vessel, because he would not give vent to his rage in the 
language to which he had been so long accustomed. He would keep it 
pent up, and it was pent up while the steamer was dodging the wherry ; 
but when he found that the waterman had ceased to ply his sculls, and that 



88 LIFE AND ABTENTURES OF 

the opposition yesael would have the three passengers in consequence, 
his rage knew no bounds, '^ Ton beauty !* cried he to the boy at length, 
finding that he must either say something or burst. *' Oh ! bless your . 
pretty eyes ! — You understand me !" 

** Ease ar I" cried Valentine. 

** At it again t" exclaimed the Captiun ; " oh, you darling, you sweet 
pretty boy ! Oh, I'll give you pepper ! ony let me come down to you, 
that's aU, you dudt^ and 111 give you the beautifullest towelling you ever 
enjoyed. Let her go, sir." 

** Go on !* whined the boy. ** It a'n't me ; I can't help it.** 

** What ! Say that again — ony say it — and if I don't make you spin 
round and round, like a lying young cockchafer, seize me." And the 
poor boy began to dig his knuckles m his eyes, and to whine a repe- 
tition of what was held to be a falsehood. 

** Ay, whine away, my dear !** cried the Captain, " whine away I 
If you dont hold that noise. 111 come down and give you a clout o' 
one side o'th' head that you never had afore !*' 

" Ease ar !" cried Valentine. 

" What, wont you be quiet ?" 

"Stoparr 

** What is it you mean, you young — angd ? What is it you mean?*^ 
cried the Captain, as he stood m a sitting posture, with hb hands upon 
his knees, *^ do you want a good welting? ony say, and you shall catch, 
my dear, the blessedest rope's-ending you ever hsul any notion on yet. 
Now I give you fair warning. If I hieive any more of this, if it's ever 
80 little. 111 come down and give you the sweetest hiding that ever as- 
tonished your nerves ! So ony look out, my dear ! Take a friend's advice, 
and look out. Well ! — are we to perceed V* 

** Gh) on !** cried the boy ; and he stiU worked away with his knuckles, 
and screwed up his features into the ugliest form they were capable of 
assuming. 

'** Oh you young beauty ! — ^you know what I mean," cried the Captain, 
as he ground his great teeth and shook his fists at the innocent boy, 
whose eyes were by this time so swollen, that he could scarcely see out 
of them at aU. **^ You stink for a good tanning, and I'll ease your 
mind, my dear — tf I dont, may I be — saved I So now you know my 
sentiments." And having delivered himself loudly to this effect, he 
thrust his hands triumphantly into his breeches pockets, and directed 
the whole of his attention a-head. 

His eye was, however, no sooner off the boy, than Valentine again 
cried " Ease ar ! stop ar !" but long before the sound of the last '^ ar '' 
had died away, the Captain seizea a rope about as thick as his wrist, 
and without giving utterance even to a word, jumped down upon the 
deek with a deep mspiration of the spirit of vengeance. 

" Away boy I run !" cried Valentine, quickly ; and the boy, who was 
evidently Anything but an idiot, darted, like lightning, among the pas- . 
sengers. The Captain, at starting, was close at his heels ; but the boy 
shot a^head with such skill, and tiien dodged him round and round, and 



VALENTINB VOX. 89 

in and out with so much tact and dexterity, that it soon became ob- 
vious that he had been chased in a manner not very dissimihir before. 

" Lay hold of that boy !" cried the Captain, " lay hold of him there!" 
but the passengers who rather enjoyed the chase, refused to do any 
such thing. Ihey, on the contrary, endeavoured to shield the boy ; and 
whenever they fancied that the Captain was gaining ground, although 
he would not have caught him in a fortnight, a dozen of the stout^t 
would — of course accidentally — place themselves quietly before him. 

" Come here !" cried the Captain, panting for breath, " Will you 
mind what I say, sir ? come here !" but the boy, who didn t seem to 
approve of that course, did discreetly refuse to accept the invitation, and 
the Captain was, in consequence, after him again. 

At length Valentine raised a contemptuous laugh, and as it had in 
an instant at least a hundred echoes, the Captain^ philosophy opened 
his eyes, and he saw the propriety of giving up the chase. 

''Here, Robinson !" said he, ''just give a look out here. Bless hia • 
littls Bovl, lie shall have a quilting yet, and after telling the gentlemen 
below to go on, he silently ascended the paddle-box agam, and Robin- 
son took tlie boy's place. 

The vessel now proceeded without interruption, and as Valentine 
cotdd not conveniently imitate Robinson s voice, until he had actually 
heard Robinson speak, he left for a time that particular spot, for the 
purpose of looking a little about him. The first person he encountered 
was a stoutly built black-whiskered gentleman, who was engaged in 
the destruction of a nice little book, by wantonly tearing out the kavcs, 
and disposing of each for two shillings. The remarkable avidity with 
which these leaves -were purchased, led Valentine naturally to believe 
that they contained some very valuable information. He, therefore^ 
bought one of them at once, and having easily made himself master of 
its contents, cried — throwing his voice behind the destroyer — " Now, 
where are my seven !" 

'* Seven V* said the destroyer, " yes ; three, five, seven," and seven of 
tlie leaves were torn out at one pidl. 

** Now then !" said Valentine, assuming the same voice. 

'* Here they are, sir, here they are," said the destroyer. 

" Well, hand 'em over will you !*' cried Valentine. 

*' Here, sir ; seven sir? seven?'' and the seven were offered to every 
man near him. 

^ Me and my missis vonts two," observed a gentleman who held 
his pocket open with one hand, and dived the other down to tiie 
bottom. 

'^ Tip us a cupple, old boy," said another, who sported a hat with a 
niae-inch brim. 

^ O pie sir, pa wants flee," sidd a very little lady with four ringlets 
hanging down behind rather thicker than her arm. 

** Well ! where are my seven ?" cried Valentine again, afisumiag the 
same voice as before. 

*^ None o' your larks yer know ; cos it wont fit," said the angrv 
destroyer without turning round. 

N 



90 LIFB AlTD ADVBNTURES OF 

^ Then I'll just go ashore withotft paying at aU," observed Valen- 
tine. 

** Will jerV said he who held the book with an ironical smile, at 
the same time looking full in the face of an individual who happened 
to be laughing at the moment. ^' Then praps you jist wont ; for I'll 
jtst keep a hextry look out. You call yourself a genelman, don't 
yer ? So don't I ;" and his blood began to boil, and his veins begaa 
to swell, and he tore some more leaves out with great indignation. 

Valentine then at once proceeded to the ^ Saloon," but as he found 
only a few young ladies with their lovers indulging tenderly in sweet 
discourse, and sipping from time to time dead ginger beer, he left them 
to open their hearts to each other, and made his way into the ^ cabin;'* 
In this place the ladies and gentlemen seemed for the most part to have 
the same object in view, but were infinitely less sentimental in ito 
pursuit. Bottled stout was apparently the favourite beverage, but 
0Oine had a little gin-and-water on the top, and as most of the gentle- 
men were smoking, each appeared to be then in the full indulgence of 
the very purest sublunary pleasure, by holding a pipe in his right 
hand, and clasping the waist of his intended vnth the left. 

Their conyeisation was by no means of a strictly private character. 
Tliat which prevailed, touched the lowness of waces generally, and in 
order to demonstrate the cause of this remarkable stote of things, an 
individual was creating an immense sensation, by showing the abeohite 
necessity for the adoption of universal sufirage. The noise which pro- 
ceeded from this highly accomplished orator, drowned the voicee of all 
who wished to get a word in ^^ edeeways," and if any one presumed to 
oflRsr an opinion, which happened to be even in the slightest degree 
opposed to that which he had expressed, a volley of abuse, oouchea in 
terms neither elegant nor grammatical, was perfectly sure to assail him. 

At length, Valentine, anxious to ascertain the extent to which he 
would go in support of his principles, took occasion to observe in a very 
gruff voice, as the orator was denouncing every man as a traitor, who 
hesitated to go what he termed ''the ole og," with him—*'' We don't 
want universM suffrage here." 

" Ve don't wmt huniwersle suffrage !" cried the orator. " Lor sen I 
may live ! — not vont it ? Veil strike me ! — not vont huniwersle suff — 
Veil, may I be kicked to the middle o' next veek ! Vy ve vontnothink 
helsel I am for hevery man bein alike vithout hextinction; and I 
means for to say this, that hevery man as isn't of the same sentiments, 
ought to be druv out o* society. Not vont humwersle-— Well may I 
— 'but stop, let's ave a little hargriment about that ere. Now then— 
Vy don't ve vont the sufi&age to be huniwersle ? That's the question 1" 
and the orator winked and gave his head a most significant nod. *' Vy 
donH ve vont the sufirage to be huniwersle ?" 

** Because," replied Valentine, throwing his voice to the other end of 

the cabin, — " B^use every fool like you, would have it then to abuse.'' 

That was sufficient. The orator laid down his pipe ; took a deep 

dranght of stout ; pulled his coat off; tucked his shirt-aleeves above 



VALEIfTU<£ VOX. 91 

the dbow8y and challenged the voice to a ^^ kipple o' rouadis-^jist ony 
a kipple r 

In cue moment the whole eahin was in an uproar. The ladies were 
nvpeetively begging their beloveds to abstain from all interference, while 
the oiatoTs lady clnng to his neck, and with tears in her eyes, implored 
him not to '^ bCTaean himsdf by dirtying his hands with any sich low- 
bred felier." 

For some considerable time, the enraged orator was inexorable ; but 
he was at length prevailed upon to put on his coat, when, although he 
vowed vengeance upon all who dared |to differ with him in opmion, 
the minds of the ladies and their lovers were once more at ease. 

There were, however, several married gentlemen here whose ladies 
were languishing on deck, and as Valentine thought this extreniely 
iraiair, he went up with a view to their immediate re*union. 

**• Do you know," said he, whispering, in an assumed voice of course, 
in the ear of a highly dressed dame, '^ do you know whom your hus- 
bsnd is kissing in the cabin V Tlie lady looked round with an expres- 
sion of amazement. ^^ Do you know her ?" he continued, and although 
quite unable to discover who had spoken, she started up at once and 
went to take a survey. 

^^ Don't let your husband drink any more of that gin,*' said he to 
another with precisely the same result. '* Do you suffer your husband 
to treat every girl he meets T* and thus he went on until he bad sent 
oeariy all the married ladies, whose husbands had absented themselves^ 
into the cabin. 

^ Ease hor !" cried Robinson, in a rough heavy tone. 

^ That's the voice to imitate V said valentiue to himself. ** Now's 
the time for me to reinstate the boy," and as he saw a boat making 
towards the vessel ahead, he shouted with true Robinsonian energy, 
^Goon!" 

No, no r cried the captain, '^ no, no ! you're as bad as the boy I" 
Ease hor !" shouted Robinson, ^^ / didn't speak !" 

^ €k> on !" cried Valentine, and round went the paddles again, for 
the engineer himself now began to be excited. 

^ Do yon want to drive me mad !" cried the Captain. 

** What d*yar mean V shouted Robinson, '* that wasn't me 1" 

*^ What ! what !" exclaimed the Captain, '^ not you ! Oh Robinson, 
Robmson ! don^t you know, Robinson, how very wrong it is for to tett 
a Ueesed fEdsity for to hide a fault ?" 

*^ i tell you it wasn't me then ! If you don't like to bdieve me yon 
may call out yourself!*' and Robinson walked to the head of the 
vessel, and laying very violent hands upon a rope, dashed it dei^>^ 
lately down upon the deck, when, having thus tidcen his measure of 
vengeance, he folded his arms, and seemed to fedi a little better. 

** WiH you promise to behave yourself, boy, if I take you on again ?* 
cried the Captain. 

** Yes, sir," said the boy, as well as he could, considering that his 
mouth was at that moment full of bread and butter ; when, watching 



u 
u 



it 
u 



92 LIFE AT«D ADVENTURES OF 

tlie motion of the Captain's hand, lie cried ^ ease ar ! — stop ar I" for 
the boat was still approaching. 

Tlie boy now emptied his mouth as soon as possible, and wiped his 
lips clean 'with a handful of oily tow, when Valentine, determined to let 
tlie little fellow recover the good opinion of the Captain by pursuing 
the proper course, proceeded to the side of the vessel. 

In the boat, which drew near, sat an elderly gentleman, and an ex- 
ceedingly elegant young person, who appeared to be his daughter. 
Valentine was struck with the extreme beauty of her countenance, 
and eazed on her intently. He felt that he had never beheld so 
beautiful a creature before ; and the nearer she approached the side of 
the vessel — ^which was still, although the engine had been stopped, 
going gently, the more his rapture mcreased. Just, however, as the 
person who had the management of the hook caught the head of the 
boat, the old gentleman rose from his seat, when the suddenness of the 
unexpected jerk which is invariably given at that moment, sent him 
back with so much violence, that he was plunged into the river in an 
instant. 

" My fiEither !" shrieked the lady, " my father !" and extending her 
arms, she fell breathless upon him. 

Save them !" shouted fifty of the passengers at once* 
Let the boat go !" cried the waterman, ^' let the boat go !** But 
the hand of the man who held the boat hook was powerless, and as the 
bodies clasped together were floating with the tide, Valentine rushed to 
the stem of the vessel, and dashed at once into the stream. The force 
with which he plunged carried him down to a great depth, and his 
clothes became so weighty that they would scarcely allow him to rise, 
and when he did rise he found himself still some considerable distance 
from them ; but he struck out gallantly, and reached them at the 
moment they were sinking to rise no more. The first thing he caught 
was the hair of the father, whose effort to seize the hand which held 
him was instantaneous ; but Valentine dexterously evaded his grasp, 
and having caught the dress of the lady, whose arms were still twined 
round her father's neck, he held them up at arm's length, while the 
boats were approaching. The struggles of the old genUeman to seize 
Valentine now became desperate. His contortions were violent in the 
extreme. He dashed, and plunged, and struck at him like a maniac, 
and did at length succeed in winding his legs round the body of Valen- 
tine so firmly, that had it not been for the aid which arrived at the 
moment, they must inevitably have gone down together, for even when 
they had been dragged into the boat, the old gentleman would not 
relinquish his hold until they had managed to convince him of the fact, 
that he and his daughter were perfectly safe. 

The vessel, which had been backing all the time with the tide, now 
arrived at the spot ; and when the poor old gentleman had been assisted 
on board, Valentine took the young lady, who had fainted, in his arms, 
and having reached the deck, proceeded at once to the saloon, where 
every attention was paid to her and her father, with a view to their 
immediate restoration. 



VALKNTIICS TOX» 03 

All being now perfectl j secoie, Yafeoiine left the Bak>oii for the cabin, 
and on his way a hundsed hands were extended towards him by. the 
poasengers, who warmly exclaimed, '' God Uess you, ray fine fellow ! 
Nobly done ! God bless you 1" The ladies were deeply affected ; and 
shed tears of joy as he passed, and would haye dried his dripping doikes 
in their bosoms. 

On reaching the cabin, he sent one of the men to the Steward for a 
shirt and whatever other clothes he might happen to have, and while 
the Steward was engaged in looking out a complete suit, he undressed, 
and after dr3ring himself as well as ne could without assistance, he got 
one of the passengers, who happened to be a master-blacksmith, to rub 
him down with a rough towel until his entire body became red as 
blood. 

As soon as this glowing operation had been performed, he received a 
lull suit from the hands of the steward. The first thing he put on was 
a rough checked shirt, and then followed a pair of fine white lambswool 
hose which belonged to the amiable stewardess : he then drew on a 
pair of breeches, m which Daniel Lambert himself would not have felt 
at all uncomfortable, and then a pair of real smuggler s boots, which 
were indeed a decent fit, considering : then a waistcoat which had to 
be doubled over and over again at the back, but even then all the per- 
suasion in the world couldn t make it come close, and when by way of 
a -finishing touch, he got into the steward's striped jacket — ^the sleeves 
of which he tucked up about a quarter of a yard, in order to give his hands 
a breath of air — ^his UnU eMemhle was so complete, that a stranger might 
naturally have been led to infer, that if the clothes he then wore did 
fit him the day previous, he must have had a very bad night of it 
indeed. 

However, thus attired he returned to the saloon, to see how those 
whom he had rescued were faring. He found the young lady recover- 
ing fast, and her father giving utterance to many fervent ejaculations ; 
but the moment they were informed that he who had saved them was 
present, the old genUeman affectionately grasped one hand, while the 
lady seized the other and kissed it warmly. 

*^ My brave young fellow ! God bless you !" exclaimed the old 
gentleman, when, conceiving from his dress that he belonged to the 
vessel, he added, ^^ Here, here is my card : call at my house, and 111 
reward you ; my brave young man, 111 reward you." 

Valentine, perceiving his mistake, smiled, but took the card and 
spoke to the lady, who although extremely pale, looked more beautiful 
than before. 

^^ Come, drink my fine fellow ! I like you ! — ^you're a trump !" cried 
a jolly looking gentleman, in checked trousers, as he held out a glass of 
hot brandy-and- water. ^^ You did it nobly — bravely ! drink it up, my 
young hero, and then we'll have another. Up with it, my boy I — ^it'll 
keep aU the cold out." 

Of this fiact, Valentine had not the smallest doubt, for he found it 
mnarkably strong ; but as he had drank with several persons before, 
ho politely declined taking more than a sip. 



M LIFE AND ADVENTVUBB 09 

The -vessel now drew near Qravo B ond , and Valoitiiie proceeded to 
take leave of her of whom he already felt deeply enamoured. 

*^ Yon will eall and see ne, will yon not f^ said the lady, as she 
pressed his hand and raised her eyes which looked like brilliants set in 
gold. 

Valentine gazed on her beautiful face, and vna silent. 

** You ¥nlr^ — she continued—'* yon will promise to call ? Papa will, 
I'm sure^ be deKghted to see you ! — Why will you not promise V 

^ I do/' said YMentine, wfao^ while listening to the music of her Toice, 
had been perfectly unconseious of a reply being expected, ** I do, I do 
promise ; and when I assure you that nothing could impart so much 
pleasure** — He pressed her hand, but could say no more, for her eyes 
were again turned full upon him, and seemed to be beaming with gratis 
tude and love. 

^ Come, take another sup T cried the jolly looking gentleman, again 
approaching. " It strikes me you look rayther pue ; and as for yon 
not taking cold ! — why my missus won't have it at no price.*' 

^ Not any more,*' sud Valentine, who, although he appredated the 
warmth of his heart, at that moment wished him any-where but 
there. 

^ The young lady periiaps, will have a drain f continued the perse^ 
yering pest. " Oh ! have a IHtle^ Miss ! It'U do your heart good. My 
missis is sure you'll be laid up if yon don't, and whatever she says, why 
ef course you know is gospel." 

The lady, however, gracefuHy declined, and after many warm ao* 
knowledgments, on her part and on the part of the old gentleman her 
ihtlier, 'V^entine took leave of them, and went upon deck. 

The Pier was now in sight, and the mind of the Captain had happily 
recovered its wonted tranquUlity ; but the boy, although he had endea- 
voured to do his duty with the utmost aseal, was by no means sure that 
the Captain did not still intend to keep his promise with reference to 
the ** quiHmg." It was true, the Captain q)oke to him with perhaps 
a somewhat greater degree of kindness than he had ever spoken before ; 
but this tended to increase the apprehension of the little fellow who- 
having heard of the prelude to the crocodile's attack, at once fended 
that t»i8> was but the j»elude to an attack on the part of the Captain. 
He therefore most anxiously vratched his every movement, and when 
the vessel had reached the pier, he trembled violently, for the Captain 
immediately descended feom his post — an operation which he usually 
deferred until after the whole of the passengen had landed. Nothing 
could exceed the steadiness with which the boy kept his eye fixed upon 
him, and whenever he went within reach of a rope, he drew himself up 
for an immediate start. His fean were however vain ; for the Captmn's 
admiration of Valentine'e conduct had efiectually subdued eveiy anfry 
feeM n g; and as it became obvious that he had descended with the view 
of expressing that admiration, the boy began to feel a little comfortable 
again. 

^ 1 am delighted," cried the Captain, taking Valentine by the hand, 
^'I am perfectly delighted with your hero-like conduct in saving 



- -) 



VAI«SNTINB VOX. 95 

thetti two Mer crotuxs* There's somethink werry like it in Oasitii's 
Iliad — Osaian s ?— -of couise, it is Oscdan's — wlieze a geatleroan, I think 
it was Artaxeixes, but that I'm not sure oi^ dived down to the bottom 
of the Po to fetch up Peter the Great, who was washing his feet on the 
hank with Cassius, who was you know one of the Grecian gods." 

^^ Ah, and did he succeed ?*' enquired Valentine, with apparent anxiety. 

^^ I dont think it says,'' replied the Captain ; ^' but at all events he 
never rose again.'' 

" What a pity I Tut tut ! — what a pity to be sure ! Then, of course, 
he couldn't inform the world whether he did or not ?" 

^ By no means,** observed the Captain, '^ and that you see's the mis- 
chief of history. No man was ever able to write his own life complete. 
He's certain to go off the hooks before he has finished it : that's the 
misfortune. It strikes me," he continued, looking earnestly at Valen- 
tine, ** it strikes me, unless I am werry much mistaken, that you have 
the organ of courageousness powerfully deweloped. I should like to 
examine your head. That organ there, just above the eye there, seems 
to be werry fiiU, and when that is combined to the one that is sittivated 
under the ear, it makes up courageousness perfect. But I was sure, that 
you'd got it when you dived so beautiful. We find it in ducks werry 
stronff. 

^* A phrenologist, I perceive." 

^* 1 take great delight in the science. I can tell a man's character to 
a hair. I've the whole of the organs at my fingers' ends ; now this, for 
instance " 

^^ You've a fine sharp lad here," said Valentine, as the Captain was 
about to finger his organs, '^ he appears to be very attentive." 

" Yes, he's all werry weU," said the Captain, " but he a'n't got no 
soul. Besides, he don't know exactly how to behave himself sometimes. 
Did you see how he went on this morning ?" 

**' Boys, you know, are but boys," observed Valentine, and the novelty 
of that remarkable observation, proceeding, as it did, from so remarkable 
a man, had so striking an effect upon the Captain, that he at once con- 
sented to defer the promised " pepper," until the conduct of which he 
complained should be repeated. 

^' Now," said Valence, '' will you do me the favour to allow the 
boy to carry my wet clothes on shore ?" 

*^ By all manner of means in the world 1" replied the Captain. " Here, 
boy I attend to this gentleman. Go and see after his things ; and mind 
how yon behave yourself, sir, d'ye hear ?" 

The boy obeyed with alacrity, and Valentine escaped from the Captain 
apparently with the view of surveying the pier. The passengers were 
stiU, as usual, crowding from the vessel. Hiid they gone in turn quietly 
tbey would all have got on shore much sooner, and with an infinitely 
greater degree of comfort to themselves ; but they must crowd, and 
plunge, and show their teeth, and work away with iheii elbows, as each 
strove to get before the other. One lady was loudly lamenting over the 
fact of her bonnet being desperately crushed ; another was enaeavouring 
to recover her reticule, the strings of which she held, while the bag 



96 LIFE AND ADYBNTURBS OF VALBNTINB TOX. 

itself was fixed between the hips of two ladies who were going with tlie 
stream about five rows behind her, while another was looking par- 
ticularly unamiable at a gentleman who was innocentlj digging his 
elbow into that particular cavity which is just beneath the ear. 

" For goodness sake !" cried one, '* don't squeedee/' * " Where are 
you drivin to V* shouted another. '^ I say, you sir !*' cried a third, 
*' jist take your fist out of the small of my back, good luck to you !" 
They still, however, crowded on and displayed as much anxiety to 
quit the vessel as if she had then been in flames. 

'^ Have you lost any thing, sir V* whispered Valentine in the ear of 
a tall gentleman whose efibrts to drive past his neighbours had been 
really very desperate. 

The gentleman in an instant drew back, inspired with the horrid 
suspicion of having lost something, although it certainly did not appear 
that he had much to lose. In the first place, he felt in all his pockets 
at once, and then searched them again and again in detail ; and then 
laboured to recollect if he had brought anything from home, which he 
had not then about him ; but even then, although he emptied his 
pockets and found all quite safe, he was anything but sure that he 
nadn't been plundered. 

<* Do you allow that .'" said Valentine, throwing a whisper into the 
ear of an old lady, to whom nature, in consideration of her having but a 
single eye, had bounteously given a double chin. 

'* Mr. Jones !" cried the lady, who perceived two females by the 
side of Mr. Jones, " I'm ashamed of you. Keep back, sir ; and let 
them gals pass." 

^' What's the matter, my dear ?" said Mr. Jones. 

*^ Don't dear me, sir ! I saw you !" cried the lady ; and Mr. Jones 
looked as if he at that moment felt that if he had never seen her it 
would have been a great comfort. 

^' Have you got your pass ?" said Valentine, throwing his voice be- 
hind the person who was taking the tickets. '^ / want no pass," he 
added, assuming another voice, '* I can always pass without.'* 

^* O ! can yer ?" cried the black whiskered gentleman, by whom 
those interesting little slips of paper had been sold. ^' Then I don't 
think you can. Jim! be a leetle hextry partickler there, will yer?" 
and he winked at Jim ; and Jim winked at him as he stood in the 
gangway perfectly prepared to take his revenge out of the first man who 
attempted to pass without a ticket. 

While the black-whiskered gentleman and Jim were thus occupied, 
Valentine went to the steward, who lent him a large hairy cap ; and 
when his clothes had been carefully deposited by the amiable stewardess 
in a shawl, he, followed by the boy, took his leave of the philosophic 
Captain, and left the vessel, portraying the pleasurable effects of that 
astonishment, with which he fondly conceived poor Goodman would 
view the extraordinary character of his dress. 



9 



^ 



CHAPTER XIII. 

IK WHICfH VALBNTINB IS INTRODUCED TO THREE NEW FRIENDS, WITH 
ONE OF WHOM HE PASSES A YBRY PLEASANT NIOHT. 

The surprise with which Valentine, on reaching the residence of Mr. 
Pluinplee, ascertained that his guardian had not arrived, was as great 
as that with which he had intended to inspire Goodman, hut of a 
cliaiacter of course diametrically opposite. Nor, when the circumstances 
were explained was that surprise felt by Valentine alone: Mr. Plumplee, 
and Mr. Jonas Beagle, an eccentric old gentleman, who murdered liis 
time at Gravesend, with a view to the perfect restoration of his health, 
which had never, in fact, deserted him even for a day, felt and expressed 
a corresponding amount of astonishment, while Miss Madonna Plumplee, 
the virgin sister of Goodman's frigid, began at once to indulge in all 
sorts of oonjectuies having reference to the cause, for like most unac- 
conotahle occurrences, the scope which it afforded for the pky of tlie 
imaginAtion was unbounded. 

" Who knows!" cried that amiable person, ^^ he may have been run 
over and craved to deaths or a thousand things ! — Qie drivers about 
London are so horribly reckless. I*m sure it was only the other day I 
was three quarters of an hour endeavouring to cross Fleet-street ; — and 
all it was an absolute miracle I wasn^ killed, i 



for a dog cart, with 
a dirty person sitting upon the edge, rattled down the street vi,i such a 
dreadful rate that I thought, be run over I must ! It is shameful such 
ti&igs are alk>wed. There sat the filthy creature deliberately smoking 
his pipe, and taking no sort of notice of the peril in which he was 
placing the lives and limbs of people, not even the slightest ! He was, 
however, I am happy to say, properly punished, for no sooner had he 
passed me than the wheel, over which he had been sitting bounced into 
a hole, when happily the enthe concern upset, and he was instantly 
covered with cat's meat and mud." 

^* Oh ! I don't expect that any serious accident has occurred," said 
Mr. Plumplee. ^^ The report of such an occurrence would be certain 
to have reached home before this morning, for he never goes out without 
his card case; and his name and address are printed on his pocket-book 
I know." 

** But," suggested Miss Madonna, ^' he might have had his pockets 
previously picked, and then strangers you know would have no clue at 
all. London is such a place. I'm sure I was reading the other day 
in one of the papers of a gentleman who having lost his handkerchief 
vrent in to purchase a new one ready hemmed, and he hadn't left the 
riiop five minutes before he lost that." 

^' And did he go in to buy another?" enquired Mr. Jonas Beagle. 

^^ It didn't say ; but such doings are positively dreadful," repHed 
Miss Madonna. ** I'm sure, I've said it a thousand times, and will 



•98 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

maintain it, — the police are of no sort of use. They are never at hand 
when people are being plundered.'' 

'^ For my part," said Mr. Jonas Beagle, ^* I think he has been kid- 
napped. The fact of his having been out all night, looks I must say 
remarkably suspicious. What Dusiness has a man to be out all night ? 
None whatever, not the slightest ; and I hold it to be, therefore, par- 
ticularly shocking !" And Mr. Jonas Beagle leered wickedly at Miss 
Madonna, while his little twinkling eyes seemed to indicate that in his 
judgment Goodman was not quite immaculate. 

The attention of Mr. Plumplee and his amiable sister was now 
directed to Valentine's dress. A tailor in the vicinity was applied to 
at once, but as he had nothing likely to answer the purpose made up, 
the case was stated to a family next door, of which one of the younger 
branches politely sent in a complete suit, which fortunately happened to 
fit Valentine to a hair. 

" Now then," said Mr. Beagle, " for a walk ;" and as the con- 
viction had obtained that it was useless to wait for Ooodman, who 
might not arrive until the evening. Beagle, Plumplee, and Valentine 
left the house, and at once got into a stream of gay persons who were 
heavily laden with children and provisions, and who appeared to have 
made a dead set at a windmill. 

^' Let's go to the Belly woo !" shouted one of these persons who had 
one child on his arm and another on his back, while he dragged a third 
along by the hand. 

*^ That's by fur the most delightfullest place," observed a lady who 
appeared to be the mother of those interesting babe?, and who carried 
a handkerchief in which the shape of a dish was to all distinctly visible. 
*' I perfers the Belly woo 'cause there we can set out at top and see the 
wessells so nice." 

"The Belly wool" cried Valentine, " What's the Belly woo V^ 

^' The Belle vue they mean, a little tavern on the hill," replied Mr. 
Jonas Beagle, who had no sooner imparted this interesting information 
than he turned into what he called the Tivoli Gardens, which appeared 
to be the principal place of resort. On the right as they entered, a 
marquee was fixed for the accommodation of those who preferred a cold 
dinner for a shilling to a hot one for eighteen pence : on the left stood 
a long wooden shed, or grand dining room, established for the exclusive 
accommodation of the eighteen-penny people, round the door of whioh 
several polite gentlemen hovered, with the view of soliciting the plea- 
sure of the company of all who looked as if they really had such a 
thing as one-and-nine*pence about them, while at the farther end were 
boxes for the convenience of those who had brought their own pro- 
visions ; but as the public spirited proprietor of the establishment 
charged, according to the printed scale, something like three pence for 
the loan of a table cloth, two pence for plates, three half-pence for a 
knife and fork, a penny for pepper, the same for mustard, the same for 
vinegar, the same for salt, and for everything else extremely reasonable 
in proportion, those boxes were not "very liberally patronised. 



VALENTINE VOX. 99 

Having taken a survey of these gardens, they made for the hiU, the 
summit of which they reached after an infinite deal of panting on the 
part of Mr. Plumplee and Mr. Jonas Beagle, and which certainly com- 
manded a most extensive and delightful view of the surrounding 
country. Mr. Beagle's first task was to point out to Valentine the 
various features of the scene both rural and naval, and having developed 
in the performance of this task no inconsiderable amount of descriptive 
power, he led the way to a favourite spot under the brow of the hill to 
which he and Mr. Plumplee repaired daily for the purpose of unravelling 
whatever knotty point might happen to suggest itself at the moment. 
On reaching this spot they spread their handkerchiefs and took their 
seats, while below them groups of persons w^ere sitting up to their lips 
in thick furze, and up to their hips in dusty sand, discussing internally 
the various viands with which they had been externally laden. 

It was not long before a point of the knotty kind was started, and 
while Plumplee was engaged in refuting the extremely uncharitable 
position of Mr. Beagle, that practically the world's definition of friend- 
ship was that which prompts men to study the interests of others with 
a view to the promotion of their own, Valentine was occupied in watch* 
ing the actions of one particular group that sat immediately below 
him. It was obviously a family circle, and in the centre stood a large 
beef-steak pie upon a sheet of the Weekly DispatcJi^ which had been 
spread with the view of conveying the idea of a table cloth, and of 
thereby imparting to the whole thing an unquestionable air of respecta- 
bility. The crust of this pie was in proportion as thick as the thatch 
of a bam, while the little et-ceteras by which it was surrounded, bore 
a corresponding aspect of delicacy ; and when all seemed prepared to 
commence operations, the cork of a well washed blacking bottle was 
drawn, and the company, by way of grace before meat, had a glass of 
gin round. When this feat had been performed with really mfinite 
gusto, the carver walked into the pie, and in the plenitude of his bene- 
volence submitted to each man, woman, and child, an amount of matter 
which would certainly have taken any but a highly gifted stomach 
three days and three nights to digest. It was not, however, by any 
means long before every nand was empty again ; for as the process of 
mastication seemed quite by the way, they no sooner got a mouthful 
&irly in than they rinsed it down their throats, as in duty bound, 
with porter. The purified blacking bottle again went round, and its 
contents seemed to induce renewed gastronomic vigour : to each was 
submitted another lump of pie, and when that had been washed away 
precisely as before, the gentlemen began to unbutton their waistcoats 
and the ladies to unliook their dresses behind in order to enjoy another 
small glass of gin without any unpleasant sensation of satiety. 

It now became clearly perceptible that their stomachs were about to 
assume certain aristocratic airs of pseudo-delicacy, for instead of being 
assisted to legitimate doses, they began to fish out the most tempting 
little bits they could find, until by virtue of each taking the piece 
which the others had rejected, the dish was eventually cleared witli the 



100 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

exception of sundry little lumps of crust with which hy wmy of a wind 
up the ladies proceeded to pelt the gentlemen, to the infinite satisfactioii 
of all parties concerned. 

This mutually interesting transaction had no sooner heen closed, than 
one of the ladies, in order to cap the climax, produced a very small hut 
a very unexpected hottle of hrandy, of which each with great pleasure 
partook of a glass, for the purpose of keeping all down. This was 
evidently, however, intended as an apology for Nan Ncbisj for the 
moment the ceremony had been performed the gentlemen proceeded to 
light their pipes, while the ladies seemed determined that it should that 
day be known which was able to laugh the longest and the loudest. 

By the time they had succeeded in torturing their muscles into the 
merriest possible shape, Mr. Plnmplee and Mr. Jonas Beagle, had 
finished their argument according to an invariable custom of theirs, by 
each convincing himself that the other was wrong. Having thus 
brought this highly important afibir to a happy issue, Mr. Plumplee 
applied to his watch, and after making an original remark, having 
reference to the rapid flight of time, they proceeded down the hil^ 
passed a multitude of donkeys, which, while they bore their patronesses 
on their backs, were very delicately touched up behind by their ownen ; 
and reached home precisely at the very moment their presence became 
absolutely essential to the continuance of Miss Madonna's tnmquiDity 
of mind. 

The first question asked was of course about Goodman, and as also of 
course Goodman had not arrived, they at once sat down to dinner, after 
which Beagle and Plumplee got into an argument touching the lament* 
able state of things in general, while Valentine and Miss Madonna were 
amusing themselves at the window by making all sorts of deeply in- 
teresting remarks on the appearance of the persons who were constantly 
passing. 

Towards evening, however, Valentine began to feel uneasy, and ex- 
pressed a desire to return by the last boat ; but Miss Madonna, whose 
word in that house had acquired the reputation of being law, yery 
strenuously opposed it. It was by no means safe, she contended. 
The boats in the evening were crowded so densely, especially the last, 
that to escape being pushed over the side really amounted in her ju<^- 
ment almost to a miracle. Any attempt to refute an argument so 
potent as that would of course have been indicative of madneas, and 
therefore it was decided that he should stop there all night. 

Now there happened to be only four bed-rooms in the house; the 
best of course was occupied by Miss Madonna, the second by Mx. 
Plumplee, the third by Mr. Beagle, and the fourth by the servant ; but 
that in which Mr. B^gle slept was a double bedded room, and Valen* 
tine had, therefore, to make his election between the spare bed and the 
sofa. Of course the former was preferred, and as the preference seemed 
highly satisfactory to Mr. Beagle himself, they passed the remainder of 
the evening very pleasantly tocher, and in due time retired. 

Valentine, on having his bed pointed out to him, darted between the 



VALENTINE VOX. 101 

sheets in the space of a minute, for as Mr. Jonas Beagle faoetioasly 
observed, he had but to shake himself and everything came off, when, 
as he did not by any means feel drowsy at the time, he fancied that he 
might as well amuse his companion for an hour or so as not. He, 
therefore, turned the thing seriously over in his mind, while Mr. Beagle 
w» qnieUy undressing, being anxious for thi^ genden»n to extingaish 
the light before he commenced operations. 

^^ Now for a beautiful night's rest,*' observed Mr. Jonas Beagle to 
himself as he put out the light with a tranquil mind, and turned in with 
a great degree of comfort. 

*^ Mew! — ^mew !" cried Valentine softly, throwing his voice under the 
bed of Mr. Beagle. 

" Hish ! — curse that cat !" cried Mr. Beagle. *' We must have you 
out at aU events, my lady.'' And Mr. Beaffle at once slipped out of 
bed, and having opened the door cried ^' hisli ! ' again emphatically, and 
threw his breeches towards the spot as an additional inducement for the 
cat to " stand not on the order of her going," when, as Valentine re- 
peated the cry and made jit appear to proceed from the stairs, Mr. 
Beagle thanked heaven that she was gone, closed the door and very 
carefully groped his way again into bed. 

'^Mewl — mew! — ^mew! cried Valentine, just as Mr. Beagle had 
again comfortably composed himself. 

^^ What t are you theie still, madam ?" enquired that gentleman in a 
highly sarcastic tone, ^' J thought you'd been turned out, madam !— • 
Do you hear this witch of a cat V he continued, addressing Valentine 
with the view of conferring upon him the honourable office of Tyler for 
the time being ; but Valentine replied with a deep heavy snore, and 
began to mew again with additional emphasis. 

^^ Well, I don t have a treat every day, it is true ; but if this isn't 
one, why Tm out in my reckoning, that's all !" observed Mr. Jonas 
Beagle, slipping again out of bed. ^^ I don't much like to handle you, 
my Udy, but if I did, I'd of course give you physic 1" and he ^^ hished!" 
again with consummate violence, and continued to " hish 1" until Va- 
lentine scratched the bedpost sharply, a feat which inspired Mr. Beagle 
with the conviction of its being the disturber of his peace in the act of 
decamping, when he threw his pillow very energetically towards the 
door, which he closed, and then returned to his bed in triumph. The 
moment, however, he had comfortably tucked himself up again he 
missed the pillow which he had converted into an instrument of ven- 
geance, and as that was an article without which he couldn't even hope 
to go to sleep, he had of course to turn out again to fetch it. 

**• How many more times I wonder," he observed to himself " shall 
I have to get out of this blessed bed to-night ? Exercise certainly is 
a comfort, and very conducive to health ; but such exercise as this — why 
where have you got to?" he added, addressing the pillow, which, with aU 
the sweeping action of his feet he was for some time unable to find — 
'^ Oh, here you aie, sir, are you ?" and he picked up the object of his 
search and gave it several very sovere blows in the belly, when, having 



102 LIFK AND ADV£MTUR£S OF 

reinstated himself between the sheets, he exclumed in a subdued tone, 
"Well! let's try again I" 

Now Mr. Jonas Beagle was a man who prided liimself especially 
upon the evenness of his temper. His boast was that notliing oould put 
him in a passion, and as he had had less than most of his cotemporaries 
to vex him, he had certainly been able, in the absence of all cause for 
irritation, to preserve his equanimity. As a perfectly natural matter of 
course he invariably attributed the absence of such cause to the innate 
amiability of his disposition ; and marvelled that men, men of sense 
and discernment, should so far forget what was justly expected of them 
as reasonable beings, as to suffer themselves to be tortured by excite- 
ment, inasmuch aloeit as human nature and difficulties are inseparable, 
human nature is sufficiently potent not only to battle with those diffi- 
culties, but eventuUay to overcome them. If Mr. Jonas Beagle had had to 
contend against many of the " ills that flesh is heir to," he in all proba- 
bility would have acted like the majority of his fellow-men ; but as he 
had met with very few, and those few had been not of a very serious 
complexion, he could affi)rd to be deeply philosophical on the subject, 
and felt himself competent, of course, to frame laws by which the tempers 
of men in the aggregate should be governed. He did, however, feel 
when he violently smote the pillow, that that little ebullition partook 
somewhat of the nature of passion, and had just commenced reproaching 
himself for having indulged in that little ebullition, when Valentine 
cried ** Meyow ! — pit ! — Meyow !" 

*'' Hallo !" exclaimed Mr. Jonas Beagle, " here again!'* 

" Mew !*' cried Valentine in a somewhat higher key. 

" What ! another come to contribute to the harmony of the even- 

" Meyow ! — meyow 1" cried Valentine, in a key still higher. 

" Well, how many more of you ?" enquired Mr. Beagle. " You'll 
be able to get up a concert by and bye ;" and Valentine began to spit 
and swear with great felicity. 

" Swear away, you beauties I" cried Mr. Jonas Beagle, as he listened 
to this volley of feline oaths ; " I only wish that I was not so much 
afraid of you for your sakes ! At it again ? Well this is a blessing. 
Don't you hear these devils of cats !" he cried, anxious not to have M 
the fun to himself; but Valentine recommenced snoring very loudly. 
" Well, this is particularly pleasant,'* he continued, as he sat up in bed. 
" Don't you hear I What a comfort it is to be able to sleep soundly !" 
which remarkable observation was doubtless provoked by the no less 
remarkable fact, that at that particular moment the spitting and swear- 
ing became more and more desperate. ^^ What's to be done?" he en- 
quired very pointedly. " What's to be done ? my breeches are right 
in the midst of them all. I can't get out now : they'd tear the very 
flesh off my legs ; and that fellow there sleeps like a top. Hallo ! 
Do you mean to say you don't hear these cats, how they're going it ?" 
Valentine certainly meant to say no such thing, for the whole of the 
time that he was not engaged in meyowing and spitting, he was dili- 



VALENTINE VOX. 103 

fently occupied in snoring, which had a very good effect, and served to 
II up the intervab excellently well. 

At length the patience of Mr. Jonas Beagle began to evaporate ; for 
the hostile animals continued to battle apparently with great despera- 
tion. He, therefore, threw a pillow with great violence into the bed 
of his companion, and shouted so loudly that Valentine, feeling that it 
would be deemed perfect nonsense for him to pretend to be asleep any 
longer, began to yawn very naturally, and then to cry out *' Who's 
there r 

" 'Tis I !" shouted Mr. Jonas Beagle. "Don't you hear these witches 
of cats V 

" Hish !" cried Valentine, " why there are two of them !" 

" Two !" said Mr. Beagle, " more likely two-and-twenty ! I've 
turned out a dozen myself. There's a swarm, a whole colony of them 
here, and I know no more how to strike a light than a fool." 

** Oh, never mind," said Valentine : " let's go to sleep, they'll be 
quiet by and bye." 

" It's all very fine to say, let's go to sleep, but who's to do it?" cried 
Beagle emphatically. " Curse tne cats ! I wish there wasn't a cat 
nnder heaven^ — I do, with all my soul ! They're such spiteful vermin 
too when they happen to be put out, and there's one of them in a pas- 
sion, I know by her spitting, confound her ! — I wish from the bottom 
of my heart it was the very last spit she had in her." 

While Mr. Jonas Beagle was indulging in these highly appropriate 
observations, Valentine was labouring with great energy in the pro- 
duction of the various bitter cries which are peculiarly characteristic of 
the feline race, and for a man who possessed but a very slight knowledge 
of the grammatical construction of the language of that race, it must in 
justice be said that he developed a degree of fluency which did him 
great credit. He purred, and mewed, and cried, and swore, and spit, 
nntil the perspiration oozed from every pore, and made the sheets as 
wet as if tliey had just been " damped for the mangle." 

" Well this is a remarkably nice position for a man to be placed in, 
certainly," observed Mr. Beagle. *' Did you ever hear such wailing and 
gnashing of teeth? Are you never going to leave off, you devils V* he 
added, throwing the bolster with great violence under ^ the bed, and 
therefore, as he fondly conceived, right amongst them. Instead, how- 
ever, of striking the cats therewith, he unhappily upset something which 
rolled with great velocity from one end of the room to the other, and 
made during its progress so singular a clatter, that he began to " tut I 
tut !" and ^ scratch his head audibly. 

" Who's there ?" demanded Plumplee in the passage below, for he 
slept in the room beneath, and the rolling of the article in question had 
alarmed him : " Who's there ! d'ye hear? Speak ! or I'll shoot you like 
a dog !" and on the instant the report of a pistol was heard, which in all 
probability had been fired with the view of convincing all whom it 
might concern that he had such a thing as a pistol in the honse. 



104 LIFE AN1> ADVRNTURBS OF 

^' Who*8 there !" lie again demanded: '* You vagabonds, I'll be at you !'* 
an intimation that may be held to have been extremely natural under 
the oixcumstanceB, not only becauae he had not even the slightest 
intention of carrying so desperate a design into execution, but because 
li0.^a consequence of having supped off cucumbers and crabs, of which 
he happened to be particularly fond, seeing that as they didn't agree 
with him, and invariably made him suffer, they partook of the nature of 
forbidden fruit — ^he hnud singularly enough been dreaming of being 
attacked by a party of burglurs, and of having succeeded in frightening 
them away by holding out a precisely similar threat. 

" Beagle !" he shouted, after waiting in vain for the street-door to 
bang. 

^* Here !** cried Beagle, ^' come up here I It's nothing : I'll explain ! 
For Heaven's sake," he added, addressing Valentine, ^' open the door ;" 
but Valentine was too much engaged to pay attention to any such 
request. 

At this moment the footsteps of Plumplee were heard upon the stairs, 
and Mr. Beagle, who then began to feel somewhat better, cried, '^ Oomo 
in 1 my good friend, come in !" 

'^What on earth is the matter?" enquired Mr. Plumplee, as he 
entered the room pale as a ghost in his night-shirt, with a pistol in ono 
hand and a lamp in the other. 

^' It's all right," said Beagle, ^^ 'twas I that made the noise. I've 
been besieged by a cohort of cats. They have been at it here making 
most healthful music under my bed for the lost two hours, and in trying 
to make them hold tlieir peace with the bolster, I upset that noisy 
a£foir, thaf s all." 

^* Gats I" cried Mr. Plumplee, '^ cats ! — you ate a little too much 
ettoumber, my friend ! — that and the crabs were too heavy for your 
stomach! — you have been dreaming! — you've had the night mare t 
We haven't a cat in the house ; I can't bear them." 

^' You are mistaken," rejoined Beagle, ** they're about here in swarms. 
If I've turned one cat out this night, I'm sure that I've turned out 
twenty I I've in fact done nothing else since I came up! In and out, 
in and out ! Upon my life, I think I can't have opened that blessed 
door less than a hundred and fifty times; aud that young fellow there 
has been all the while fast as a church I" 

" I tell you, my friend, you've been dreaming ! We have never had 
a oat about the premises." 

** Meyow, — meyow 1" cried Valentine quietly, 

^^ Now have I been dreaming !" triumphantly exclaimed Mr. Beagle^ 
" now have I had the night mare ?" 

'^ God bless my life !" cried Mr. Plumplee, jumping upon Mr. 
Beade's bed, '' they don't belong to me I" 

''1 don't know whom they belong to ;" returned Mr. Beagle, '* nor 
do I much care : I only know that there they are! If youll just 
hoek those breeches up here, 1*11 get out and half murder tliem I Only 
hook 'em this way I — I'll wring their precious necks off!" 





^^^■H 


IPBBBP^*^-- 


^ ^^.im^ Ji i^amm M 


P 




J 








■ 


1 ^^H 


^^^^ ^^^H 


m 




.^^H 




I 


1 ^ 




^^^M 


^^m 



YALBNTINB YOX. 105 

''They^ out of my teach," cried Plumplee. "Hkhl kishr 
Fbidiiig, howerer, ihathanh temus had no good effect^ he had leoouzse 
to the milder «nd more perBuasive oiy of '^ fussy, pussy, pussy, pussy ! 
tit, tit, tit !" 

" Hish I you devils !" cried Mr. Jonas Beagle, who began to be zeallj 
eniiffedl 

** Titty, titty, titty, titty ! — puss, puss, puss I" iq)eated Mr. Plum- 
plee in the blandest and most seductive tones, as he held the pistol by 
the muade to break the back or to knock out the brains of the fiirt 
unfortunate cat that made her appearance : but all this persuasion to 
oome forth had no effect ; they continued to be invisible, v^hile the mew- 
ing proceeded in the most mdlancholy strain. 

^ What on earth are we to do ?" enquired Plumplee, '^ I mjrself have 
a horror of cats." 

*^ The same to me, and many of 'em !*' observed Mr. Beagle, ^^ Let's 
wake that young fellow, perhaps he don't mind them." 

'' Hollo 1" cried Plumplee. 

^* Hul-lo !" shouted Beagle ; but as neither could make any impros- 
sion upon Yalentine, and as both were afraid to get off the bed to sliake 
him, they proceeded to roll up the blankets and sheets into balk and to 
pelt him with infinite zeal. 

*^ Who's there ? What's the matter ?" cried Valentine at length, in 
the coolest tone imaginable, although his exertions had made him sweat 
like a tinker. 

^^ For Heaven's sake, my dear youns friend," said Mr. Plumplee, 
^^ do asrist us in turning these cats out. 

'' Cats I Where are they ? Hish !" cried Yalentine. 

*'Oh, that's of no use whatever. I've tried the hishing business 
mjrseH All the hishing in the world won't do. They must be beaten 
out : you're not afraid of them, are you ?" 

^Afraid of them ! afraid of a few cats!" exclaimed Valentine with 
the assumption of some considerable magnanimity, ^' Where are they?" 

<« Under my bed," replied Beagle, " There^s a brave fellow ! Break 
their blessed necks !" and Valentine leaped out of bed and after striking 
at the imaginary animab very furiously with the bolster, he hissed wi^ 
sreat violence and scratched across the grain of the boards in humble 
uiitation of those domestic creatures scampering out of a room, when 
he rushed to the door, and proceeded to make a very forlorn meyowing 
die gradually away at the bottom of the stairs. 

" Thank heaven ! they are all gone at last !" cried Mr. Beagle, *' we 
shall be able to get a little rest now, I suppose ;" and after very minutely 
surveying every comer of the room in which it was possible for one of 
them to have lingered, he lighted his candle, bade Plumplee good night, 
and besmd him to go immediately to Miss Madonna, who had been 
calling rar an explanation very anxiously below. 

As soon as Plumplee had departeo, Valentine assisted Beagle to 
remake his bed ; and when they had accomplished this highly important 
business with the skill and dexterity of a couple of thoroughbred 



\6S LIFE AND ADTBHTimiaS OF 

chaiiil>emraid9, the light was again eztiogniahed and Mr. Beagle very 
nataially made up his mnid to have a six hours' sound and uninterrupted 
sleep. He had, howerer, scaieely closed his ef es when the mewing 
was renewed, and as he had not even the smallest disposition to '^ listen 
to the sounds so fomiHar to hiseai^'he started up at onoe and exclaimed, 
^^ I wish I may dU if they're all out now ! Here's one of them left !" 
added he, addressing Valentine^ hut Valentine having taken a deep 
itispirstion answered only l^ respiring with a prolonged mgKng sound. 
*^ He's off again hy the living Jove !" continued Beade. "I never 
heard of any one rieeping so soundly. Hollo 1 my good fellow 1 ho !->«- 
Fast as a four-year-old ! Won't you he quiet, you witek ? Are you 
determined not to let me have a wink of sleep to-night? She must 
be in the cupboard : I must have overlooked her ; and yet I don't see 
how I could. Oh ! keep the thing up, dear ! Don't let me rest !" and 
he fumbled about for his box, and having taken a hearty pinch of snuff, 
began to turn the thing seriously over in his mind and to make a second 
person of himself by way of having, under the circumstances, a c<»n- 
panion with whom he could advise, and if necessary rsmonstmte. 

** Well, what's to be done now?" enquired he of the second peison 
thus established. *^ Wbat's to be the next step, Jonas ? It's of no use 
at all, you know ! we can't go to sleep; — ^we may just as well tiy to 
get a kick at the moon ! — nor must we again disturb— iETiiA/ you , 
^onas! Jonas ! keep your temper, my bov 1 — ^keep your temper ! Dcm't 
let a contemptible cat put you out ! and Mr. Beagle took another 
I^inch of snuff, ftom which he apparently derived a great degree of con- 
solation. *^ What, at it again V* he continued, ** I wish I had the 
wringing of your neck off, madam ! You want to put me in a passion ; 
but you won't ! you can't do it ! therefore, don't lay thart nattering 
unction to your soul ! — Well, Jonas : how are we to act ? Shall we sit 
here all night, or take up our bed and walk, Jonas?— eb?" 

Jonas was so struck with the expediency of the latter course, lAiat he 
apparently uiged its immediate adoption ; for Mr. Beagle, in the first 
'place, hair-dressed himself in bed, and in the next, threw the counter- 
pane, a blanket, and a sheet over his shoulder; when, tucking a pillow 
und a bolster under his arm, said, '* We'll leave you to your own con- 
science, madam ! Good night !" and left the room witii the view of 
seeking repose upon the sofa. 

Valmitine was astonished at the coolness £splayed by Ifr. Beagle 
throughout the entire transaction ; and after reproaching the spirit of 
mischief that was within him, and striving by way of a pumshment, 
to disturb his own repose, and succeeded too as well as the monks of 
old did when they Inflicted the scourge upon themselves— he proceeded 
to justify himself upon the ground that his object was to learn the true 
characters of men, and bmng perfectly satisfied with that justificatioa, 
went soundly and solemnly to sleep. 

In the moming, of course, nothing but tales of horror went down. 
'MV. Plumplee told his with the air of a man conscious of having been 
inspired with the spirit of valour ; and Miss Madonna told hers with 



YALENTnfB YOX« 107 

SFeat feeling and effect; but when Beegle began to explain to ikeni 
Sow ke had been peieeoated, they foigot nieitown troublee and laughed 
heartily at his, which was certainly, under the cixcumstanoesy extremely 
repieheneibk, however natural pfaik)e<^heni may hold it to be for the 
rinbie fiicnltiee of meo to be provoked by the little vexations which 
others endase. 

But where, during the whc^ of this time^ waa poor Goodman?-— 
While Yalentine is on his way to town — for whidi he immediately 
after bieakfiwt pivpaied to start— the next duster wall briefly eaqdain. 



OOAPTEB XIV. 

GOaPMAM IS OOMIHKTnED TO HIS MSW RBSIPBIfVB — VHB UBBRTY OF TBB 
SUBJBOr U.LQflirB4T]a>— ^TBB CJOmUDrCSKBIfT 09 AM BXFOSITION OV 
h SYSIBN WHICH CAIHVOV BB OBNBR4VLY KKOWN. 



Whsh Qoodauvi^ who had fiiinted on bebg thrust into the ooacl]^ had 
been restored to astate of ooosdousnees, be found himedf perfectly wet^ 
for the ruffiaaa^ when they perceived all animation suqpendedy became 
^ypiehensive of having earned their violence too far, and, therefbiie, at 
ooioe pioouied a bottle of water, with which the j continued to i^rinkle 
bim, until he awakened to a sense of his position, when, grasping the 
arm of the feUow who sat beside him, and looking intently in his iaQe> 
he cried, ^' Tdl me^ my good man, teU me the meamng of this monstvons 

^ uh, youll know the meviing on't soon enough, don't be impatieatiT 
replied the fdlow. 

^ But why have I thus been seo^ like a felon ? What have I done? 
Whom have I injured ? I am uneonscious of having o&nded a single 
soul." 

'^Donft ask us kdj questions^" replied the fellow. ^^We know 
nothing at all about it. We've got our orders, and that's enoii^lu*' 

^^ But tell me this," urged Ooo&iaB, *^ oidy this, to what phiee axe 
yon taking me now V* 

^Oh, you'll know UeX enough 1 — all in good time !— wait a little, 
and then an idea '11 strike you." 

^^ But saiely you oaa have no serious objection to let me know that?" 
observed QoodnaiL 

^^ O ! teQ the genelman," cried the ruffian who sat opporite. " He 
a'n't like some on 'em, you know. 1 tell bim I it can t make much 
odds you know now I" 

'* It taint reglar," cried the other ; *' I haven't no partickler olgection, 
ony it taint the tUng. Howsevei, I don't disbke him, 'cause he w a 
genelman, so I don't mind." 



lOd LIFE AND ADVEKTURlte OF 

' ** Tell me, then/' said Goodman, impatiently. 

^* Don't be in sich a hurry 1" cried the fellow, ^ you patients alwIiyB 
is in sich a sweat." 

*' Don't trifle with me, for Heaven's sake/' 

"There you go again!" cried the fellow, — "there you go!—- why 
can't you be cool? i don't mind telling you ! we're gpmg to take you 
where you're going to be taken care on/' 

" To a Lunatic Asylum ? — Is it not so ?" cried Goodman. 

*' Tou couldn't have guessed it much nearer if you'd tried every day 
for a month. But it's a werry nice place ; werry private and genteel. 
None o' your public 'uns !^-everythine slap and respectable I" 

Goodman bad heiird much of private Lunatic Asylums: he had 
heard of the viUanies practised therein — ^villanies, however, which he 
had conceived to be mere fictions, coined in the diseased imaginations of 
those who had been properly confined, for he had hitherto repudiated 
the idea of its being possible for such monstrous proceedings to be 
tolerated in a country like this. Those acts of barbarity, however, 
which he had assumed to be fictions, at this moment flashed across his 
mind in the shape of realities, and prompted him to make a desperate 
effort to escape, for he felt quite convmced, that if once they secur^ him 
unknown to his friends, they in all probability would keep him there^ 
lingering in tortures till the day of his death. He, therefore, in order 
that no suspicion might be excited, assumed an air of perfect calmness, 
and after having, as he imagined, sufficiently ingratiated himself with 
the ruffians by whom he had been seized, placed five sovereigns in the 
hand of him who appeared to be the principal, and explained to him that 
he would give him a cheque for a hundred more, if, instead of driving 
him to the so-called asylum, he would permit him to return. 

" It's no go," said the fellow. " It can't be done. I wish it could. 
It's impossible. We're watched. The two doctors is behind with 
your *' Here the fellow checked himself suddenly. 

" With whom, my good friend, with whom ?" enquired Goodman. 

** Why — with — with the genelman as sent for the doctors," readied 
the fellow with considerable hesitation. 

" And who is that ?" said Goodman, anxiously. " Who is it ? Tell 
me but that !" 

** Why, that's against the law!" cried the fellow, — ^" Its a secret ! 
howsever, you'll know by and bye, I des say." 

" Are they behind us now ?" enquired Goodman, attempting to look 
out of the window. 

** Tes, yes, they're acoming ; sit down, sit down,'' said the fellow,— 
and Goodman, whose object was to allay all suspicion, at once resumed 
his seat. 

*^ Have we iSw to go now ?" he enquired. 

** Not far ; we're just at hand ; we shall be there in the matter o' ten 
minutes." 

Goodman now saw that no time was to be lost, for he had mode up 



VALENTlNB VOX. 109 

fais mind to make one desperate effort. He knew that if he once got 
bidy out of the oo^h it wonld reqnire an exceedingly swift man to 
overtake him, and emboldened by that knowledge, he prepared for a 
spring. 

*^ Another five minutes wiU do it/' said one of the men, thrusting his* 
bead out of the window, — a movement of which Goodman took instant 
advantage, and, making a desperate plunge, dashed clean through the 
opposite door. 

• '^ He's off by, Stop ! coachman, stop !" shouted one of the fellows. 

*^ We shall never be able to catch him, for he has no flesh to carry.'' 
Nor would they have caught him, had it not most unfortunately 
hi^pened that in plunging he sprained one of his ancles and fell. 

llie coach stopped on the instant, and the ruffians leaped out ; and 
as Goodman was unable to use both feet with firmness, they easily over- 
took him, when one of them struck him a sledge-hammer blow upon 
the back of the neck, and felled him at once to the ground. 

^^ Is this the way you serve us for all our kindness V cried the fellow, 
as he kicked him most cruelly in the stomach. ^* Is this your grati- 
tude r 

^^ Villains !'* shouted Goodman, and the cowardly scoundrels kicked 
him still more severely. 

^^ Up with you !" cried one of them, ^* Sam ! here, where are the 
ruffles V and the fellow addressed instantly produced a pair of hand- 
cn£&, and began to unlock them. 

^' I will not be manacled 1" cried Goodman, seizing the handcufis, 
and holding them up as a weapon of defence. ^' It is for my personal 
liberty I fight, and will peril my life to defend it. Although not mad, 
I am desperate now, and the blood of him who attempts again to seiaae 
me be on his own head 1" 

The fellows for the moment held back. Accustomed as they had 
been to deal with desperation, they for an instant appeared to be 
appalled, ^' Let me have justice !" continued Goodman, '^ If I am 
mad, let it be proved before the world I I will not be stolen from 
society thus !" 

At this moment a coach drew up to the spot, towards which Good- 
man's eyes were directed with an expression of anxious hope, which 
the ruffians no sooner perceived, than they spmng at him, seized him by 
the throat, and kicked his legs from under him violently. 

*' Help !*' shouted Goodman, as he saw the coach stop, ^^ Help !— 
murder !" 

^* We'll help you !'' cried a person alighting, ^^ Oh I yes ; we'll assist 
you with a vengeance !" cried another, who instantly followed, *^ We'll 
help you !" 

Goodman remembered those voices well, and on turning to the quarter 
whence they came, every hope he had inspired was blasted by the sight 
of Doctors Bowlemout and Dobb. 

^* In wij^h him !" eried Dobb, with a fiendUke smile. 



no LIPB AND AByBNTDRIB OF 

^ YoQS yoattff buDy is not heie now 1" shouted Bowldmont; and he 
and Dobb anaed Goodman's legs, while the two keepen lifted his body 
and oanied him towards the coach doot. 

Goodman, however, still stramled with all the strength at his oom* 
maad, and sevenl times snooe^d in Ihmstinff the two doetois firam 
him; and although they returned each time to m charge with mnewed 
despcfalMMv every edbrt to throw him into the coach proved abortive^ 
which so enraged the two keepers, that after kicking him brutally in 
Older to oompd him to bend his h^ they again seised him violently 
by the throftt with the view of making him insensible by partial stmH 
^kftioiL But all would not do. His struggles were still desperate. 
They could not get him in. They applied to the coaolmien for aid ; 
but in vain : they would render no asnstance ; they would not interfere. 

''Tell him," at lengtik cried Dobb^ ''that he muH come! Ifs of no 
use ; we shall never get him in ; come, he mmt !" And as * man, 
who had till then kept concealed in the second coach, was being diaoged 
forth by Bowlemout^ Goodman shrieked, " Merciftd God I — my breimr I 
•*^h, Walter! Walter ; dear Waker, save me! Save me from these 
murderous men V* 

Walter approached; and Goodman struffg^ed more violentiy than 
before ; but instead of rescuing him from the hands of the ruffians, he 
assisted in throwing him into the coach like a dog ! 

The very moment he was in, the keepeis followed, and the doeleie 
followed them : when the former at once seised him by the oeUar and 
stuck tiieb knuskks fririously into his throat; while the hufcteor tied his 
legs and held them down. 

" My bsother !" cried Goodman—" my brother against me ! God ! 
— can it be?'' and tears «f agony rolled down his cheSks, andhesobbed 
like a child. " You need use no violence now," he continued. " My 
brothes— my own brother ! whom I have cherished, is my enemy : do 
with me as you please : I shall now make no further resistance!" 

" No ! cried one of Ite ruffians, shaking him brutally, " we'tt take 
care you don't I We've had enough of you for one bout, at all events. 
We'll take good care we don't have any more of it." And the villain 

r' 1 thrust his knuckles into Us throaty and continued to shake him 
a fiend. 

The ceadi stopped. The outer gates of an attmctive and weU buBl 
house opened to adsnt them, and dosed again the moment they wen 
in^ when the fellow relaxing his hold, cried, " Now, you old scoundrel, 
consider yourself booked here for life. You are safe enough now ! 
CKve us as much more of your nonsense as you dare!" 

As soon as the door of the coach had been opened, the docton 
aUghted, and when the keepers had unbound Goodman's legs, they left 
him for a moment alone^ still sobbing. 

"Ncfw, a'n't yon cominff out V demanded one of them, at len^ ; 
and poor Goodman, who felt quite exhausted, made an effort to ahght^ 
but before he had descended two steps, the heartless ruffian ptfled him 



YAtmrmrB vox. Ill 

violently ilorwaxd, and dadied him with his face downwards upon tho 
rgrugh graTel path. 

^^ Come ! up with you !" shooted the ruffian, ktcking him over as 
he would a dead do^ ; when, as Qoodman wae utterly unfile to rise, he 
proceeded to drag hnn along tho ground, as the blood gushed in streams 
ftom his nose and ears. 

^* Act like men !" cried the coachman, .who sickened at the s^ht. 
^* If he w mad, damme don't treat him like a varmint 1" 

^ Mind your own business," cried a black-looking scoundrel, who 
appeared to be the proprietor of this inflEunous den. '' What's your 
fitte?" 

'* Seven shillings I" indignantly shouted the coachman. 

"Here it is. Now be off I — we want none of your insolence here," 

"Lor send I may never have such another job as this I" cried the 
coachman, on mounting his box. *' If I*d ha' knowed it, you should 
ha' pulled me up five hundred times afore I'd ha' taken such a fare." 
And he lashed his horses violently with a view of expressing his indig- 
nation, and gave the fellow who held open the gates an apparently ac- 
cidental cut across the cheek, as he drove through. 

Poor Goodman, as well as he was able, now looked for his unnatural 
brother, who, however, remained in the coach outside— but no sooner 
had he turned his head round, than he was dragged into a room, when, 
another flood of tears having somewhat relieved him, he said faintly 
to the person to whom a paper in which Bowlemout and Dobb had 
certified to his insanity, was delivered. " Are you, dr, the proprietor 
of this establishment ?" 

" I am !" said that person, vrith a scowl. 

" Will YOU do me the favour then to show me your authority for my 
detention f ** 

" Hold your tongue, sir !" 

•* I merdy wish—" 

" Silence r interrupted the scowling brute; "strip him, and put 
him to bed !" added he, addressing his myrmidons. " If he dares to 
show any of his devil's tricks here, why you know how to servo 
him." 

Goodman was accordingly dragged into a narrow dark cell, stripped 
Had thrown upon a pallet ; when the ruffians, after swearing that they 
would come and knock his brains out if he made the slightest noise, 
lodted him up for the night. 

"Heaven's will be done I" exclaimed Goodman, on being left alone. 
"But, oh God! am I mad? — I must be — ^I feel that I must; for I 
thought and still think I saw my brother ! that brother to whom I have 
never been unkind — whom I have cherished through life, with the most 
affectionate tenderness — whom I have sustained. — Oh 1 it cannot-*-im- 
possible! — I am, I am nuidf And yet — surely, thb cannot be a 
dream ? No !-— no ! I am awake now ! God ! what can it be ? Not 
madness? I can remember every circumstance— can connect and re- 



112 LIFB AND ADTmrVRBS OF 

view. — Those ph3r8ician8 ! they spoke of myconnectioninth an empetor ! 
/ nerer imagined myself to be thus connected ! It must be a mistakcu 
Yet« who sent them ? Walter I his motive ? — ^immediate possession ! It 
must have been ! Oh ! what a villanoos system is this ! what man is 
secure from being seized, confined, murdered ? If I am not mad, I soon 
shall be !" Ana thus he proceeded until mental and physical agony 
induced absolute ezhanstion. 



CHAPTER XV. 

TALBNTINB TISITS THE BRITISH MUSEUM — IMPARTS BREATH TO MEMNON 

AND RAISES A TOICE FROM THE TOMB. 

On reaching the residence of Goodman, Valentine found the old serrant 
in tears, and, as he became apprehensive of something of a very serious 
character having occurred, he walked immediately into the parlour and 
desired her to follow him. ^' Something has happened, Ann," said he 
with much earnestness, *' tell me, what is it ?" 

Ann sobbed bitterly, but managed to observe, '^ I don't — know— 
what — ^I've— -done, sir — I thought — ^I — gave — good — satisfaction." 

** What on earth is the matter T cried Valentme impatiently. 

" Master, sir's — given me— wa-aming." 

" Oh — when did he return V* 

** I haven't set eyes on him since Saturday, when he left with you, 
sir." 

** Then how can he have given you warning V* 

*^ He sent it by his brotner," cried Ann. *' Mr. Walter has been 
here and read a letter he'd just received from master, where he says 
he's going to be out of town for a time, and that I must look out for 
another place." 

" And where is he now ?*' 

" Mr. Walter says that mayn't be known." 

^' He read the letter to you ?" 

*'' Yes, all but where it came from, and — dear me, I'd almost forgot : 
He wished me to say, sir, that master's kind regards, and as he shouMn't 
p'raps come back for some weeks or a month, he thinks you'd better 
return to the country, and he'll send you another invitation by and bye.*' 

^' This is very extraordinary I" thought Valentine, ^^ I'd no idea of 
his being even in the slightest degree involved. — When are you to 
leave, Ann V 

" To-night, sir." 

•' To-night !" 

^*^ Yes, sir, tliis blessed night ! Mr. Walter has settled with me and 
paid me my month, and 1 m to leave this night, sir ! — would yon 
believe it r 



VALifiKTIKB VOX. 113 

V Aja4 who'9 to take charge of the house i" 

^^ M ra. Horace is coming this evening, and she and her husband are 
going to remain." 

"Indeed I I must see Mr. Walter." 

** Yes, do, air. But wont you have nothing to take ? — You'll come 
home to dinner, sir, wont you ?" 

" N'o, I shall dine out," said Valentine, and he left the house at oiiO0 
with the view of calling * upon Walter. " Poor old gentleman !" he 
murmured, on his way, ^' He has been entering into some unsuccessful 
speculation. What an extraordinary passion is this love of wealth! 
An old man like that now, having plenty, to risk probably all that he 
possessed with the view of gaining more than he could possibly enjoy ! 
How is it that men are never satisfied with that which they have V* 
Before he had framed a satisfactory answer to this question he reached 
the door of Walter s residence. 

'* Mr. Groodman is not at home, sir," said the servant, in answer to 
Yalentine^s enquiry. 

" Nor Mrs. Goodman ?" 

" No, sir ; they went out with Mr. and Mrs. Horace, and I don't 
expect them home before night.'* 

Valentine perceived in a moment by the unsteady eye and the hesir 
tating speech of the girl that what she had stated was not exactly correct. 
He did not, however, press the matter farther, but left his card, and 
bade her say that he would call in the evening. 

"Now what shall I do with myself," thought Valentine, as he 
walked very leisurely from the house. " I wish that I knew a little 
more about London. However, I must, I suppose, be content to take 
my chance." And he continued to walk, without knowing or caring 
much where. He had not, however, proceeded any very great distance 
before he came to an old fashioned red brick building, on either side of 
the gates of which a sentinel was walking, with a view to the unin- 
termpted circulation of his blood. 

" What place is this ? " he enquired of one of these national 
guardians. 

" Brish Museum," returned the sentinel, marvelling at his ignorance, 
and walking away as stiffly as if he had that morning swallowed hb 
ramrod by mistake. 

"The British Museum!" sud Valentine, without thanking the 
•oldier for his extraordinary politeness ! " The very place I want to see !" 
And he entered the court-yard at once, and after looking with a curious 
eye at a creature in a long wooden wig, and at a canoe of great antiquity, 
which appeared to have been constructed by some ingenious wild gen* 
tlemen out of the bark of a tree, he reached the Hall, when, after having 
purchased a catalogue of one individual, and delivered his stick to 
another, be passed a well stuffed rhinoceros that had evidently known 
what it waB to have a bullet or two in his body, and proceeded up 
fltair% at the top of which stood a few very gigantic giraffes, with neekt 



114 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

su£B.cieDtl7 long to have enabled them to dine without the slightest 
inconvenience in an attic, while standing outside the street door. 

Having surveyed these lofty creatures, he passed through the rooms 
in which the specimens of various animals were so numerous that a 
student in Natural History might spend the full term of his natural life 
without acquiring a perfect knowledge of their respective characteristics ! 
These, however, did not appear to tne majority of the visitors to be the 
most attractive animals in this vast collection. The chief attraction 
seemed to be centred in the visitors themselves, and from the number 
of nods of recognition, and meetings by appointment which came under 
the immediate cognisance of Valentine, he was naturally led to infer that 
this national establishment was a national place of assignation. He 
never had lavished upon him at any one time so many really wicked 
glances. The widows were desperately intent upon something; tliey 
appeared to be especially on the qui vive^ and as his eyes met theirs at 
every turn, he jumped at once to the conclusion that if they were really 
virtuous they were really not very discreet, and after taking a good 
steady look at a lobster, that was pinned very closely to the wainscot, 
he proceeded to the Gallery of Antiquities below. 

This place he found remarkably cool and pleasant. He surveyed, 
without the slightest interruption, a legion of little gods which appeared 
to have been barbarously mutilated in their infancy ; and then turned 
his attention to a number of young artists, who had obviously inspired 
the conviction that they were on the high road to immortal fame. 

One was sketching a goddess without a nose : another was portray- 
ing a ram-headed lady ; a third was engaged upon a striking colossal 
fist ; a fourth was drawing the fragment of seme hero, who appeared to 
have lost the greater part of himself in some desperate battle ; a fifth 
was depicting an excellent vvoman, who had not only lost her head and 
one of her shoulders, but out of whose arm a large piece appeared to 
have been bitten, and who was represented kneeling behind a tablet well 
covered with exceedingly interesting hieroglyphics ; while a sixth was 
engaged upon three very bandy little deities, who looked as if they 
might have accomplished great things in their time. 

Having inaudibly awarded to these artists all the praise which 
appeared to be due to them respectively, Valentine passed on until he 
came to a figure of which a number of persons appeared to be at that 
moment lost in admiration. This figure was placed upon a huge block 
of stone, and although its face was by far the most pleasing of them all, 
one side of its head had been chopped 6% apparently with some heavy 
implement, while the left arm and shoulder with the whole of the body 
below the third rib had been blown clean away. 

On referring to his catalogue, Valentine found this to be the bust of 
young Memnon, and as certain elderly gentlemen who formed part of 
the group were conversing on the subject of oracles in general, he 
listened with considerable attention to their discourse, and K>uud them 
to be exceedingly communicative men. 

" There is nothing," said one of the elderly persons, " that can have 



VALENTINE vox. 115 

80 great a tendency to prove the rapid progress of the human intellect 
as an oracle. If any man of the present age were capable of even 
dreaming that a mere mass of stone had the power to speak, he would 
be set down at once as a natural fool ; yet to what an extent did the 
priests and false prophets, the eugastrimandi of the Greeks, the ma- 
gicians, the soothsayers, and sorcerers of Rome, impose, in the remote 
ages, upon the superstitions multitude V 

"Surely,'' thought Valentine, "those prophets and priests knew 
nothing of ventriloquism !" 

" They were artful cards doubtless,*' observed a tall thin person, 
who wore a singularly small pair of spectacles ; " but how did they ma- 
nage it ? that puzzles me. By what means were they able to carry on 
their games ?" 

" It is utterly impossible to say," replied the elderly gentleman who 
had started the subject. " It is reported, you know, of the famous Kire- 
ber, that in order to undeceive the credulous people and to account for 
certain strange things relating to the celebrated Delphic Oracle, he fixed 
a tube in his bed-chamber, so that when persons came to his garden 
gate he could hear them if they but whispered, and by means of this 
tube he asked questions and gave answers, and that he afterwards re- 
moved it to his museum and nxed it in a figure, so that it seemed to be 
animated, and distinct sounds apparently issued from its mouth, for he 
clearly supposed that the pagan priests by using such tubes, used to 
make the superstitious believe that the idol itself returned answers to 
their questions. And there can be no doubt that it was done by 
some trickery on the part of the priests, who, when they found their 
power waning, sought to sustain it by the performance of miracles 
of this kind.'' 

" Was this Memnon a vocal god ?" enquired the tall thin gentleman. 

" Of course he was ! and one of the very greatest." 

*' He appears to have been a big one, but I can see no tube, nor 
any place into which a tube could possibly have been inserted." 

" It was not done with tubes !" said Valentine to himself. " In 
those days I should have made an excellent miracle-monger ; I may as 
well try the effect now ;" when, placing himself in a favourable position, 
" Fools," he cried, in a deep sepulchral tone, making his voice proceed 
apparently from the thick lips of Memnon, " Think ye that Memnon 
was never inspired ?" 

The group at once shrank back appalled ! some felt quite faint for tlie 
moment, as they stared at the statue and trembled, while the rest 
looked amazed at each other, but neither of them ventured to utter 
a word. 

" Be off!" shouted Valentine through Memnon. " If they had nt left 
my legs behind in Egypt, I'd jump down and kick you out of the place !" 

*' Wonderful !*' involuntarily exclaimed the old gentleman, who had 
been so severe upon the pious men of old. 

" Wonderful l" cried Valentine, contemptuously, " convince thyself ! 
Test my prophetic soul ! test it ! Would'st thou know thy destiny ? 
Dpeak ! 



116 LIFE AND ADVHNTUBBS OF 

^* Ye-yes !" cried the stout old gentleman, who evidently prided him- 
self upon his courage. ^^ Who's afraid ?" 

"Tip then!" cried Memnon. "Tip! I never did duty without it, 
and I shan't commence now !" 

The astonished group again stared wildly at ^ach other. " Did you 
see hi^ lips move?" enquired one. "I thought that I did!" replied another, 
*' I fancied I saw them move." 

"Fool!" exclaimed Memnon, "Dost thou wish to insult me? 
Think'st thou, idiot, the inspired Memnon would condescend to wag hia 
sacred lips like a grovelling mortal V 

At this moment an individual who had a remarkably red face, and 
whose breath told a tale about his having indulged recently in hot rum 
and water, approached, and when the assumed fact of Memnon having 
spoken had been communicated to him, he laughed very heartily as a 
matter of course. 

" You will not believe it ? — Speak to him, and be convinced," urged 
the stout old gentleman seriously. 

"Speak to him ?" cried he with the florid face; " Speak to him? — 
Well my old trump, how's your mother ?" 

" Irreverent wretch !" exclaimed Memnon indignantly ; " know thy- 
self and drink less mm !" 

" Hollo !" cried the gentleman with the highly coloured countenance. 
" Hul-lo I" and he closed one eye in order to have a good stare at the 
statue with the other, while his mouth was as wide open as a mouth 
of that size could conveniently be strained. 

" Are ye satisfied ?" cried Memnon. " Learn to respect what yo 
cannot comprehend. I want repose. D'ye hear? Be off; and dis- 
turb me no more !" And Valentine viewed with silent pleasure the 
astonishment depicted in the countenances of the group while engaged 
in conversing on the marvellous nature of that which they imagined they 
had witnessed. 

Having heard these amazed individuals declare, that although they 
might meet during their progress through life with many staunch unbe- 
lievers, nothing on earth would ever be able to shake their faith in the as- 
sumed fact that the oracle had absolutely spoken, Valentine proceeded to 
survey the Elgin marbles and derived much amusement from a couple 
of highly-gifted connoisseurs, who were loudly and learnedly descanting 
on their peculiar excellencies. 

" Well, Jones," said one of these gentlemen, " What do you think of 
them — eh 7* 

" Think of 'em !" contemptuously cried Jones, thrusting his hand into 
his ample coat pockets. " I would'nt give two-pence for the lot." 
" You don't know the value of them surely ?" 
" I dont — if they 're worth more money. Did you ever in ail your born 
days see such rubbisli ? Why I wouldn't pick 'em up in the street I I 
wouldn't own 'em ! If they belonged to me I'd pitch the whole biling 
into the Thames." 

" But look, my dear fellow — take this for example — just look at the 
symmetry" — 



VALENTINE VOX . 117 

'* Symmetry ! What's the good of that ? He aint got no head and 
not ahove half a body. Where are his legs gone to ? — look at that arm 
there chopped all to smash at the elbow I Symmetry ! come, that's good. 
Why I've got a group of goddesses at home that I gave fifteen pence 
for, that would, in point of symmetry, beat the whole biling into 
fitsl" 

** But take them as fragments" — 

^^ That's precisely what do I take 'em as ! I can't take *em as anything 
else 1 — and pretty fragments they are !" 

" But their age, my dear fellow !" 

^' Now, don't tell me I Just look at this woman here ! Send I may 
live ! — why there aint above a quarter on her left !'* 

^^Bnt you must look at the parts that are remaining !" 

*' And so I just do ! There's nothing else to look at ! It won't do, you 
know, at least it won't do for me ! — Hotoever they can gammon the 
people to believe that there's an3^hing fine in such rubbish as this, puts 
me out altogether. There isn't one of 'em perfect, nor anything 
like it. That fellow there's the best of the bunch, and they've smashed 
off the biggest part of his corporation ! — to have a post mortal exa- 
mination I s'pose I Of all the rum rotten trash that ever was scraped 
together this queer lot bangs all ! — Come ! " he added, seizing the arm 
of his friend and dragging him from the room ; '^ let's go and look at 
something a leetle worth while." 

Valentine derived so much pleasure from the learned observations of 
this individual and the John- BuU-ish, solemn, self-satisfied air with 
which those observations were made, that he left the Elgin marbles to 
follow him and his friend, with the view of still farther indulging his 
taste for the sublime. 

*' This is a pretty good sized coffin," observed Mr Jones, approaching 
a ponderous granite sepulchre, the lid of which w.os held up by a strong 
wooden frame that the whole of the interior might be viewed. "It 
would hold a couple of dozen dead bodies well packed ! The water 
couldn't get in very well here I say, could it ? And as to the worms !— 
they might try till they ground their teeth down to the level of their 
old gums before they'd bo able to nibble their way through. This is 
just the sort of coffin that I should like to have now — only it would cost 
so much to carry it to the grave. It would take twenty men, and even 
then they'd make a muddle of it. Here's another of them," he added as 
he crossed to the opposite side, " they appear to be fellows." 

Now as the lid of this happened to be down, and as it was perfectly 
obvious that Mr. Jones had entered the Museum expressly in order to 
be astonished ; it recurred at once to Valentine, that it would be a pity 
to allow him to depart disappointed. He therefore, while apparently 
admiring with others an exceedingly broad Egyptian pedestal, intro- 
duced a quiet groan into the sepulchre, as Jones was engaged in pointing 
out to his friend the ridiculous character of certain hieroglyphics. 

'* Hush ! hush ! " cried that gentleman, starting back suddenly and 
eizing the arm of his friend. " Hush ! did'nt you hear ? " 



118 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP 

" I thought I heard something, " observwi his friend whispering, 

**• Hush I hush -sh ! Listen ! " and Valentine sent in another small groan. 

*^ Send I may live ! — tis a man !" exclaimed Jones. 

^^Impossible T'cried his friend. " Why do you know the ageof thisthing?" 

^^ I don't care a dump about the age ! If it is in its fifty millionth 
year it don't matter a button : there's something alive in it now — listen 
again !" and the violence of his action drew several persons round, of 
course anxious to ascertain what had caused so much excitement. 

Now Valentine happened to be by no means conversant with the 
language of the Egyptians, and as he conceived that it might spoil the 
wliole thing if he ventured to speak, heconfinedhimself simply to the in- 
troduction of a long drowsy yawn which he presumed to have been well 
understood in all ages and climes. Before he had finished yawning, 
however, Jones again started up, and addressing an individual who was 
sleeping in a chair with a long white wand in his hand, cried, *'*' Here ! 
he's been buried alive ! — He's just awoke ! — do you hear !" 

The individual with the wand opened his eyes, and scratched his 
head and approached crying, " What's the matter ? — what's all 
this~eh ?" 

*' Why here's somebody been buried alive here," said Jones. 

" Pooh ! nonsense ! — are you mad ? " cried the person with the wand 
assuming some considerable amount of official dignity. 

*' I don't care a straw what you say," returned Jones, " I know that 
there's some one in there !— did you never hear of a man being buried 
iA a trance ?" 

"Why you must be insane!" cried the fanctionary. "That tomb 
has been empty ever since before you and your grandmothers and grand- 
fathers before you were bom !" 

" I don't care a button how long it has been empty ! I'll bet fifty 
pounds that there's some one in now !" ^ 

*^ I certainly myself heard something," observed a gentleman who had 
been attracted with others to the spot. 

" Oh nonsense ! " cried the official — ** Why it was only cleaned out 
the other day !" 

"But satisfy yourself!" exclaimed Jones; really wondering at the 
stubborn cold-blooded incredulity of the man. 

" I am — I am satisfied ! " cried the official ; but another yawn which 
Valentine dexterously introduced at the moment, caused him to 
start back amazed. Down went his wand and away he flew, in order 
to proclaim as well as he could the fact to his brother officers ; who, in- 
ferring from the highly excited state of his nerves that something was 
the matter, return^ with him at once, with the view of rendering 
whatever assistance the case might demand. 

The very moment, however, that the case was explained, they treated 
the thing with an air of derision. They all laughed as heartily as men 
could laugh, and in a manner well calculated to be extremely service- 
able to them in a physical point of view — inasmuch as it gave them 
great pain, as they had not had a really good laugh for an age. 



YALENTING VOX. 119 

" Why, Simpkins," cried one, " n)>on my soul, I didu't tliink youM 
been so soft !*' But Mr. Simpkins by no moans regarded it as so excel- 
lent a joke as they appeared to imagine. He took an altogether dif- 
ferent view of the matter, for although he felt perfectly sure that the 
tomb did not contain an Egyptian, as he had seen it but a few days pre- 
viously, open and empty, he was not quite so sure that the worktueu in 
dosing the lid had not shut in some poor devoted labourer, whom they 
had either forgotten or cared not to release. He, therefore, heeded not 
their derision ; but being an extremely humane man kept his ear very 
closely to the tomb, while they were laughing and joking with glee by 
his side. 

" For Heaven's sake !'* at length he exclaimed, " be silent for a mo- 
ment !*' But they would not be silent : they continued to laugh very 
loudly, and very wantonly, until Jones and several others made an 
earnest appeal to their humanities, begging them to hold tlieir peace, 
but for an instant, in order that they themselves might be convinced 
that the sounds were not the offspring of mere imagination. 

*' Well, let's give these very silly people a chance !" cried one of 
the men who had been so strongly moved to laughter. *' Let us listen 
to the cries and groans of this mummy. Now hush ! — hush !" And 
several of those who had been thus enjoined to silence commenced groan- 
ing very furiously — a feat which not only excited another peal of laugh- 
ter, but inspired Mr. Jones with much real indignation. '^ Inhuman 
wretches !" he exclaimed, *' assist me in raising the lid of this tomb, I 
tell you there's some one inside ! I know it ; I 'm sure of it ; I'll bet 
any one of you fifty pounds of it !" And Mr. Jones produced a pocket- 
book containing a roll of notes which astonii«hed the official eyes of the 
functionaries around him and caused them respectfully to open their ears. 
The effect was electric. Their countenances dropped in a moment. A 
more powerful argument could not have been adduced, for they began 
to believe at onc^ that there must be something in it, and, hence, to pay 
all due attention. 

Finding that the general impression was that he whom they imagined 
to be in the tomb, was not an Egyptian, but a labourer, Valentine 
concluded that as a labourer must of course mean an Irishman, he 
couldn't go very far wrong if he gave them a spice of the brogue. 
** Och ! — what the blazes will I do thin !" he cried, " be me sowl I'm 
clane didd althegidher entirely — murther !" 

** Now, what d'ye think of it !" cried Simpkins, triumphantly. 

*' Somebody's there, sure enough ;" said one of those who had previ- 
ously treated the whole tlung with contempt. " But how could he get 
m? 

" Never mind a dump," cried Jones, " how he got in ; let's try to 
get him out." 

" Dirthy wather to yo, lit me thin have a brith of air I'll be shmud- 
her'd complate wid th' want of it — och !" 

** But a moment, my good fellow — now— ^now give a lift I" And 
Mr. Jones and tlie whole of the officials put the palms of their hands to 
the lid of the tomb, which however defied all their strength. 



120 LIFE AND ADTEMTURES OF 

" Run, — run, for the workmen \" cried Simpkins, '^ bring them at 
once or the man will be a corpse !*' and two wand-bearers started off 
immediately for the men who were engaged in a different part of the 
museum. 

" What a lucky thing it was that I happened to hear him !" observed 
Mr. Jones. ^' If I haihi't, the chances are that he'd never have come 
out alive. It was the merest miracle in nature I heard him groan." 

" Why," said Simpkins, " he must have been in five days — ^the thing 
hasn't been opened since Wednesday." 

^^ Five days \" exclaimed several of the visitors, in a breath, as a 
violent thrill of horror ran though them. " Five days !" and they made 
up their minds to see a skeleton. 

" Shall nobody thrag me out of this ?" cried Valentine. « Will I 
be shmudher'd at last ? 

^' Wait a moment, my good fellow, wait but a moment !" cried Jones 
putting his lips to the lid of the tomb. 

^' In a moment I'm didd widout doubt. I fale dhreadful. Arrah 
thin you devils ! Is it thin at yer aise ye*d be afther shtanthing whin 
yer say a boy murther d to dith ! Take the top off complate or be the 
sowl that's inside o'me— " 

" Don't be impatient !" cried Jones — " You must not be impatient." 

" It's impatient yer mane ? Opin the top then, bad luck t'yer, opin 
the top ! Aint it jist like a baste I've bin thrated sure ? — Opin the 
top !" 

At this moment the workmen arrived with their tools, and after some 
slight delay — during which the imaginary Irishman was engaged in call- 
ing out very fiercely — they succeeded in introducing a lever. This was 
no sooner done than Valentine perceiving that the game was nearly up, 
cried, " It's all complately over wid me now. I'm quite murthered — 
I'm gone — I'm at pace !" — and turned round with a view to the full 
enjoyment of the scene. 

The visitors were in a state of the most painful anxiety : the wand- 
bearers felt scarcely able to breathe ; while the workmen perspired with 
infinite freedom, for the weight of the lid was immense. They did, how- 
ever, eventually succeed in raising it sufficiently to enable them to ex- 
amine the interior, and this was no sooner accomplished than a dozen 
simultaneously looked in, very natiuully expecting to behold a fellow- 
creature lying prostrate at the bottom. 

** Where is he ?" cried one. " I can't see him 1" cried another. " Not 
here !" cried a third — " the thing's empty !" 

" Oh nonsense !" shouted several of the visitors who were behind. 

*' Well you'd better come and find him," said those who had looked, 
givingway to the incredulous creatures who had not. 

" Where can he be got to ?" inquired Mr. Jones. 

** He was never there at ail ! " cried the very official who had 
previously laughed the very heartiest of the lot. ^^ It's precisely 
what I said ! The idea of a man being in ! How could he have got 
there ?" 



VALENTINE VOX. 121 



" Do you mean to say," observed Jones, " that you don't think a 
man was in tliis thing at all V* 

" I do !" replied the official very firmly. 

" Then / mean to say you know nothing about it ! Tlie go is a rum 

f^ certainly, a very rum go ; but isn't a man to believe his own ears ? 
heard him myself! Diant you sir? — and you?" As several of the 
Tisitors bore testimony to the fact of their having heard some voice pro- 
ceed from the tomb, Jones continued, " Of course I We all heard it ! 
One may be deceived, or two may be deceived, or even three may l)e 
deceived, but, send I may live, wo can't all be deceived !" 

" Well where is he now ? — where is he ?" 

" That's jist the very pint that I can't make out : it's in fact the only 
pint to be considered." 

And the point was considered — very deeply considered — but the con- 
sideration yielded nothing bearing even the semblance of a conjecture ! 
They could not conceive now a man could have escaped, nor could they 
believe that no man had been there. They examined the tomb mi- 
nutely again and again, but failed to find even so much as a crack to 
give weight to any opinion having reference to the exit of any thing 
nke a human being. They still, however, tried very hard — ^very, very 
hard indeed — to reconcile the fact of their having licard the voice 
of a man, with the fact of no man being there ; and as Valentine's 
appetite began to be somewhat troublesome, he left them engaged in 
unravelling that mystery which he perfectly well knew they were unable 
to solve. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

• ••«** 

Having dined at the first decent tavern he came to, Valentino started 
for poor Goodman's house ; but as he found it locked up and entirely 
deserted he proceeded at once to the residence of Walter, with the view 
of ascertaining, if possible, the cause of this unusually sudden change. 

On reaching the house, he found the servant at the door, and in 
aaswer to his numerous enquiries, the girl told an interesting tale about 
how Mr. Goodman, her master, had oeen out all the day with her 
mistress : how Mr. and Mrs. Horace had been out all day with them ; 
how they were all out together on some pressing business, then, and 
how she didn't expect they would be home before midnight. 

*' I'll leave a note for your master," said Valentine ; '^ I suppose I 
shall find a pen and ink in the parlour V' 

•* Oh," said the girl, placing herself hurriedly before him, " Missis 

R 



122 LIFB AMD ADYBNTURE8 OF 

has locked up the parlour, sir; she always does when she goes out for 
any time." 

" Has she locked up the drawing-room too ?" enquired Valentine. 

*' Yes, sir, — there's a tavern over the way, sir : if you'll write a note 
there, sir, if you please, I'll he sure to give it master, directly he comes 
home." 

At this moment Walter, of course quite unconscious of the door heing 
open, rushed out of the parlour in his morning gown and slippers, ana 
was ahout to proceed up stairs, when he caught a glance of Valentine 
in the passage. 

''Oh I how do you do?" he cried, making an extremely awkward 
attempt to conceal the confusion into which he had heen thrown. 
** Happy to see you ! — very happy to see you ! — walk in !" and he 
gave a most withering look at the girl, although it was clearly hy no 
means her fault. 

On entering the parlour Valentine found the whole family engaged 
in the perusal of a mass of papers with which the tahle had been 
strewed ; and although they received him with much affected pleasure, 
he perceived in a moment that he was a most unwelcome guest. 

"So the old buffers bolted and left you in the lurch," observed 
Horace, trying to conceal the iron safe which belonged to Goodman. 
'' It's just like the old out and outer." 

" I hope nothing serious has occurred,'' observed Valentine. 

'' Oh, not a ha'porth of it ! — terums I — ^no chance of that !" returned 
Horace. " But you know he's such a jolly old rum un there's no such 
thing as holding him any how." 

*' I feared," said Valentine, *' that he had entered into some unsuc- 
cessful speculation, and had thus become involved." 

*' Speculation !" cried Horace, *' Well, come, that's rich ! Why, did 
you ever suppose that a regular old know-nothing out-and-out cove of 
his kidney had half enough pluck to—" 

" My dear Horace, how you do talk !" interrupted Mrs. Goodman, 
" When you know that he has been speculating " 

*' Oh I ah ! exactly !" said Horace, who had evidently forgotten his 
part. 

'' The fact is," said Walter, '' he has been dabbling a little, and that 
has rendered it inexpedient for him to be seen for a week or two, — you 
understand ?" Valentine nodded, for he did understand what they 
wished him to understand ; but no more. There is something behind^ 
thought he. These hesitating speeches and secret looks mean iomethirt^, 

^ And what do you think of doing, my trump ?" said Walter, as 
Valentine was steadily watching their actions. *'Do you mean to 
remain here in tiiis littie villa^ or do you mean to cut back ?" 

** Why the thing is so sud£n, I've not at present made up my mind. 
Of oonrse I shall eventually return." 

'' My brother," observed Walter, '' in his.letter to me, states that he 
dionld advise you to return at once, and that when eveiytbing is 
cettkd bo^sfaall again foe most happy to see you." 






VALEMTIMB VOX. 123 

^ Had he irritten to hm to that eflPect," said Valentine, '' I should, 
douhtless have acted at onoe upon his advice ; hut as he has not — and 
I cannot hut think it most extraordinary that he has not — 1 feel justi- 
fied in looking to my own feelings for a guide/* 

^' We ought, I'm sure, to make a thousand apologies," observed Mrs. 
Goodman, as she pinned three pieces of parchment together, and marked 
them ; " but I hope that the next time you favour us with a visit we 
shall not be so deeply engaged." 

^' Where do you think of holding out until you cut it?" enquired 
Horace. • 

I hardly know yet,*' replied Valentine, 

I'm sorry," said Mrs. Goodman, *'that we have not a bed to offer 
you ; but we shall be truly happy to see you whenever you will fevour 
us with a call." 

" My boxes," said Valentine, " I suppose that if I send for them to- 
morrow, I can have them ?" 

" Most certainly, my dear sur," replied Walter, « 111 see that they 
are safely delivered myself." 

" Well, ta, ta, my tulip, if you will go," cried Horace : " Take care 
of yourself, and let's know where you are, you know T 

Valentine promised to do so, and after taking leave of the ladies was 
attended to the door by Walter, who displayed an extraordinary degree 
of politeness ; and left the house deeply inspired with the conviction tiiat 
something was exceedingly wrong. 

As he wandered down the street reviewing steadily all that he had 
seen, it occurred to him that in a window immediately opposite the house 
in which he and poor Goodman had resided, he haa noticed a card on 
which was print^ ^' apartments for a single gentleman /' and as 
he strongly suspected foul play, and felt that by engaging those apart- 
ments he should be able to watch the movements of Walter and his fa- 
mily unseen, he went at once to the house— -came to terms with the 
widow by whom it was kept, and after stating the fact of his having 
lived opposite-^a fact which appeared to be perfectly well known — 
took immediate possession. 

He had not been seated long at his window, which commanded of 
course a fuU view of Goodman's house, when he saw Walter, Horace, 
his wife and her servant, with two workmen, enter. The moment they 
were in, the door closed, and soon after the workmen were seen in the 
drawing room and then at the windows above, where they appeared to 
be receiving instructions from Walter, with reference to the removal of 
certain fixtures, and shortly afterwards quitted the house with him, 
leaving in chaige of it Horace and his wife. 

As the evenmg drew on, the shutters were closed, and all seemed 
secured for the night, when Valentine, who had had but little sleep the 
night previously m consequence of having persecuted Beagle with the 
cats, had a very early supper and retired. 

In the morning the whole family were at work long before he was 
up, and throughout the entire day they were busily enga^sd with clerks, 



124 LIFE AND ADTBNTURBS OF 

caipentezs, and porters with green aprons, examining, tying up and lot- 
ting the furniture. Valentine watched their actions narrowly, and to- 
wards the evening slipped out, took a coach, and called himself for his 
boxes, without apparently noticing the confusion that prevailed ;^ and 
after driving right away that they might not know where he resided, 
came back to his lodgings unseen. 

That night about ten a cart came to the door, and when a number of 
baskets which evidently contained plate, china and glass, had been de- 
posited with care, it drove ofl^ when Valentme watcmed it to the house 
of Walter, saw it emptied, and returned. • 

Nothing more was removed that night, but early the following morn- 
ing tliree hurge vans were loaded with great facility. Walter ajppeared 
to be extremely anxious for them to start, and when they did start, 
Valentine followed and saw their contents deposited at the rooms of an 
Auctioneer. He then knew of course that they were to be sold off at 
once, and as he saw by the papers that a sale of household furniture was 
to take place the following day at those rooms, he resolved to be there, 
in order to fathom the thing, if possible, to the bottom. 

Accordingly at twelve the next day he started off, and having arrived 
at the entrance ; on dther side of which were exhibited a variety of cata- 
logues and placards— he proceeded up a long narrow passage, and 
then ascended a small flight of steps, which 1^ immediately mto the 
Sale Room. 

In the centre of this room stood a circular table, round which certain 
children of Israel were seated with a view of securing all bargains to 
themselves, while behind them stood small mobs of people of the same 
persuasion, conversing on the expediency of giving certain sums for cer- 
tain lots, and of out- bidding any christian person who might have a 
desire to purchase those lots " worth the money." 

The moment Valentine entered, he looked round for Walter and his 
amiable family, whom, in a short time he saw in a state of great con- 
sternation, which had evidently been induced by his unexpected presence. 
He seemed, however, to take no notice of them ; but apparently di- 
rected the whole of his attention to the actions of those who by con- 
stantly attending these Sale Rooms raise fortunes upon Fortunes' ruins. 

Before he had concluded the minute survey he had commenced, a tall 
white faced personage entered the room, and having jumped upon the 
circular table, shut himself quietly in a juvenile pulpit, made a 
sort of speech touching the matter in hand, stuck an eye glass very 
dextrously between his cheek bone and his brow, and brought forth 
his professional hammer. He was a remarkably short-sighted person, 
and had to bring his head down within an inch of the catalogue in order 
to ascertain the exact number of the first lot ; and when this had been ac- 
complished to his entire satisfaction, he very delicately scratched his 
head, every whitey -brown hair upon which seemed to be too independent 
to stand on any but its own bottom, when after having slightly rubbed 
hid nose, which, albeit, it was hooked like the majority of the noses pre- 
bent, was yet of a totally different ea:»te, inasmuch as in his case the hook 






TALEHTIIfB TOX. 1 25 

was inyerted ; lie coughed twice with spirit, gave aevenl »-heiiis ! and 
then boldly commenced operatioiis. 

The fiist lot was put up and knocked down without even the slightest 
interruption firom Valentine, for, although he bad made up his mind to 
stop the sale, he was compelled of course to wait until he had ascertained 
precisely how the thing was conducted ; but when the second lot came 
— which happened to be poor (Goodman's writing desk, worth about 
forty or fifty shillings— he fdt himself sufficiently aufait to begin. 
^ A pound," said a Jew-looking gentleman. 
One pound is bid," said the Auctioneer. 

Thirty shillings," cried Valentine, in an assumed voice of course. 
**" Thirty shillings ; a splendid rose wood writing desk, secret drawers 
complete for thirty shillings." 
^ Two pounds," cried Valentine in a different voice. 
" Two pounds bid — ^ng for two pounds !" 
'^ five," said an Israelite. 

•' Five — two five— for two pounds five!" — when as this was the high- 
est legitimate offer, Valentine's voices had it all their own wiiy — 
" Cfoing for two five I" 
^Two pounds ten/' cried Valentine. 
*' Two ten — two pounds ten — ^Any advance on two ten T' 
" Three pounds." 
*' Three bid : three pounds-—" 
** Ten." 

^ Thank you — three ten ! This elegant writing desk going for tliree 
ten." 
" Four pounds." 

^^ Four pounds bid : four pound. Any advance on f owe pound " 
" Four pounds ten." 

^ Four ten in two places ; four ten. This most valuable writing 
desk going for four ten." 
" Fifteen." 

" Four fifteen — four fifteen — gaitig for four fifteen !* 
" Five pounds." 

" Five pounds bid : no advance on five pound V 
" Five pounds ten." 

" Five ten — for five ten — going for five pounds ten ! I'm sure the 
value of it cannot be generaUy known. Any advance on five ten ?" 
" Six pounds." 

*' Six pounds—this is really a most valuable desk — six pound — going 
for only six pound." 
" Ten." 

" Six ten — six pound — going for six ten." 

" Seven bid — seven pounds — any advance on seven pounds— yoi«^ for 
seven !"— and down went the hammer. 

Tlic Israelites marvelled exceedingly, and began to reproach tlieiii- 
selves for not bidding higher ; feeling ])erfectly certain that in one of the 
drawers either notes, gold, or diamonds were secreted. 



126 LIFE AND AOYBNTUBBS OF 

'' What name for this writtng-deBk?" inquired the auctioneer. 

*' Goodman !*' cried Valentine, asBuming Goodman's voice, at which 
Walter and his family started up amazed, and trembled violently as they 
looked round the room in the full expectation of seeing Goodman him<> 
self. 

The clerk went to the spot from which the voice appeared to proceed, 
but no purchaser could be found. 

** Who purchased this writing-desk V* demanded the auctioneer; but 
no answer was returned. 

** Putsh te pargain up againsh/' cried an Israelitish gentleman, 
'^ tatsh te fairesht vay ma tear, tatsh te fairesht vay !" and it was put 
up again, >nd as the Jews bid higher under the impression that it con- 
tained something valuable, Valentine easily ran it up again to seven 
pounds, when the Auctioneer, whose sight was not suflficiently strong to 
enable him to see who had bid, stopped to inquire the name of the bid- 
der, " Who bid seven pounds ?*' said he. 

^' Goodman I" cried Valentine. 

^' Cootmansh againsh !" cried a Jew, **• Arl for Cootmansh !" 

Tlie Clerk looked again for the purchaser, while the violence with 
which Walter and his Simily trembled had the effect of confirming the 
suspicion of foul play which Valentine had so deeply inspired. Had 
they murdered poor Goodman, thought he, they could not be more 
alarmed at the sound of his voice ; and the idea of their having murdered 
him absolutely seemed to be under the circumstances extremely rea- 
sonable. 

" Thip is very extraordinary," observed the Auctioneer, when he 
found that no purchaser came forward. *'*' If there be any persons here 
who have come with the view of creating confusion they had better leave 
before they are turned out! — our time cannot be wasted in this way. 
Put the desk aside ;" he added, addressing the porter, " and let's have 
the next lot. The next lot gentlemen is an elegant silver silt tea 
seryice, milk jug, and finely-cnased basin, complete. What shall we 
say for this elegant service ?" 

From thirty shillings the Jews ran it up to four pounds, and from 
four pounds Valentine ran it up to ten, when of course, on its being 
knocked down, no purchaser was discoverable. 

^^ What's the meaning of this ?'* demanded the Auctioneer, indig- 
nantly. " Who is the purchaser of this lot ?" 

" GooDMAK !" cried Valentine, and Mrs. Walter uttered a loud shriek 
and fainted. 

^^ Cot plcsh ma hart ! Cootmansh ? — veresh Cootmansh ? Nothing 
put Cootmansh !" and the whole of the Israelites looked round amazed 
as Mrs. Walter was borne insensible from the room. 

Under any other circumstances Valentine would have rushed to her 
assistance, but the impression that she must have been a party to the 
execution of some dark design upon (xoodman caused him to regard 
whatever pain he might have mflicted as a measure of retributive justice. 



VALBSHTTHE VOX. 127 

Indeed, bo perfectly convinced did he feel that the absence of Goodman 
had been induced with a view to the promotion of some villanons object, 
that he absolntely saw with delight Walter struggling with those feel- 
ings which his conscience had created. 

" This is very extraordinary," observed the Auctioneer. " If this 
course be pursued it will be utterly impossible to so on with the sale/^ 

" Veresh Cootmansh !" cried a Jew. " Vat iui he ? Letsh know 
vat he ish ma tear ! — tatsh te propersh vay ma tear to shettle arltish.'' 

^ Will Mr. Goodman step forward?" said the Auctioneer; and at 
that moment Walter being unable to stand, fell into the arms of Horace, 
who, with the assistance of a broker, carried him into an adjoining 
room. 

*' Te shentilmansh fainted arl avay," cried an Israelite. '* Vatsh to 
pe tun wit tish lotsh ?*' 

" Put it aside," said the bewildered Auctioneer. " The next is a pier 
glass with richly carved frame. What shall we say for this lot V* 

The Jews bid with their accustomed liberality, and then Valentine 
commenced, and when the thing had been knocked down for five times 
its value the name of the purchaser was called for again, and the reply 
was again *^ Ooodman," 

" Shtill Cootmansh ! — arl Cootmansh ! — he'll puy ush arl upsb," 
cried a Jew, whose bright sally was received with a loud burst of Israel- 
itish merriment. 

^* It's of no use going on thus," said the Auctioneer, warmly. '* I 
must ascertain the meaning of this," and he bounced out of his pulpit 
and proceeded to the room mto which the trembling conscience-stricken 
Walter had been carried. During the whole of the time he was there 
the Jews were laughing and joking with infinite glee. One of them 
seizing the greasy hat of another called out, *' Mishter Cootmansh ma 
tear ! — vill you pid for tish lotsh V* This produced another loud burst 
of laughter which lasted tiU the Auctioneer returned. 

" Well, gentlemen, let us proceed ;" said he on re-mounting his pulpit, 
and the next lot was brought by the porter and put up and oid for with 
precisely the same result, when the Auctioneer really began to exhibit 
strong symptoms of pent-up rage. 

At length Valentine cried in a loud commanding voice, which appa- 
rently proceeded from the other end of the room. ^' Who authorised 
this sale ?" 

^' Mr. Goodman," replied the Auctioneer. 

*^ Cootmansh againsh ! Veil shtrike ma !" exclaimed all the tribe, 
in a breath. 

" He has no authority," cried Valentine. " The goods are not his." 

** Veil vatsh tat mattersh ma tear ?" said several of the Israelites 
looking towards the spot from which the voice had apparently proceeded. 
^* Te snentelmansh reshponshible ve shposh if he shtole 'em !" 

*^ WiU that gentleman accompany roe into the other room ?" said the 
Auctioneer, who was really a respectable man, and who had inferred from 
the highly excited state of Walter's feelings that something was wrong. 



128 LIFE AND ADTBNTURIA OF YALENTINE VOX. 

'^ Will he be kind enough to follow me ?" he added, going again towards 
the room in which Walter was still trembling. 

No one followed, but in he went, and the Jews became more and 
more lively. They still called for Goodman to bid for the yarious little 
articles which they held in their hands. *^ Vill you puy ma stockingsh, 
Mishter Cootmansh ?" cried one of them. '* Vat vill you pid for ma 
ahirtsh V cried another. " Heresh a coot pair of beautiful pootsh," 
cried a third, as he forced the legs of his neighbour upon the table, and 
displayed a pair of bluchers rather dropsies! and airy, while a fourth 
cried, '^ Shelp ma I 1*11 shell ma own shelf to Mishter Cootmansh I*' 

The auctioneer returned, and having mounted his desk, said, 
^^ Gentlemen, I*m sorry to inform you that this sale cannot proceed." 
This announcement was met with a burst of much Israolitish mur- 
muring. " I am sorry," he continued, " as sorry as any of you can be, 
but I will not be a party to anything wrong. — (Cries of " Vy notsh ? 
You're intemnified, I shposh ?") — No indemnity, gentlemen, vnll do for 
me unless I am satisfied that all is correct." An observation which 
was treated with marked contempt by the Israelites generally. '^ I, 
therefore, gentlemen, will not detain you any longer, and can only 
express my sorrow that I have taken up so much of your valuable 
time." 

The countenances of the tribe at this moment developed much dark 
indignation, and by degrees their murmurings swelled into aloud Jewish 
3^11, which seemed to threaten extensive destruction. The fact of its 
being suspected that all was not right, appeared to possess the sharpest 
sting, for they looked at the loss of what they thereby might have 
gained. In vain the auctioneer endeavoured to calm them. They 
would not be pacified. ^' I'll preak arl te cootsh in te plash !" cried one. 
*' Yatsh you mean by making foolsh of us ?* shouted another. " Yy 
don't you go on wit te sale?" cried a third, and the auctioneer perceiving 
their raffe likely to increase, left the room, followed by the indignant 
sons of Israel, who hooted, yelled, and pushed him about, until he had 
locked himself securely in an office below, when Yalentine, who had 
then no desire to see Walter, or any part of his family, quitted the 
place with the angry Jewish stream. 



129 



CHAPTER XVIL 

VALSNTINli TiaiTB GUILDHALL BEOOUES ACQUAINTBD WITH THOSB 

ANCIENT AND BBBIQBCTABLE WABBIORS, GOO AND UAGOO, TO WHOM 
HB niFABTS BBBBOH PBO TBH., AND THEN PBOCEEDa TO DIBCUSfl 
VATTBBS OF PBR60NAL IMPOBTANGE WITH THB BLOQUENT MEM- 
BBBS OF THB. OOUBT OV OOHMON COUNCIL. 

What a thimblerrig is humaii life !-«-the thimbles being the emblems of 
fiite : the peas the types of its slippery chanoes. How mortals gamble 
at this rigf even from the cradle to the grave ! They fix intently on a 
pea and see it covered : they watch its windings, firmly convinced of its 
being there, or there ; they' back that firm conviction with a stake ; and 
when they lose they lavish cnxses on their adverse stars; but sliould they 
win, how pleasant^ they swindle themselves into the belief of the feci 
being attributable solely to their own most extraordinary acuteness I — 
they cannot tolerate the slightest reference to the power by which the 
thimbles move — ^that power which holds the pea at pleasure to place it 
where it will. A moment's reflection will enable all well-disposed per- 
sona to perceive that this juggle, which has been so vehemently. de- 
aoanced, really comprehends fuT human actions, and that its invention — 
if an inyention it may be called — instead of being dated from Alfred the 
Qieat, may be tiaeed clearly back, without any mistake, to *^ the good 
M days of Adam and Eve." 

Now in this most remarkable ^* rig" Yalentine began to take an 
extremely active part. He congratulated himself very naturally upon 
the skill witii which he foimd out the Furniture pea; but there yet was 
a pea which, he had to discover, and that pea was Goodman* His 
energies were therefore dincted to the task of aaoertaining under whab 
earthly thimble poor Goodman could be found. 

Bent upon tins object he, on the morning after the day of the in- 
tended aale by auction, started for the city for the purpose of coneulting 
with Mr. St. Ledger, the merchant upon whom Goodoflm had called on 
his way to the steam-packet wharf. The Royal Exchange clock, as he 
paaaed, strudc twelve, and the chimos were pla3ring mernly the favour*, 
ito time of ^' See the conquering h^ro comes \" aa he entered the office 
of Mr. fit Ledger, and found uiat gentleman not only at home, and 
diseiigaged. 

^ 1 luLve called," observed Valentine, after the usual brief oeiemoBies 
had been performed, ^ to solicit your advice in a matter which to me 
i^fiears very extraordiaary." 

**W€iL, my young fiiend, what is it?" enquired Mr. St. Ledger, 
*'*' You may aommana my best judgment ; but why not solicit the 
advice of friend Choodman V 

*'*• It is precisely because I cannot find him," returned Valentine. 
^' What ! have you not seen him since you called upoa me before ? — 
did you not find him at home?" 

8 



130 LIFE AND ADyXNTITRlS OF 

'* He has not been at home since ; and I therefore wish to know by 
what means I can ascertain where he is to be found." 

** Upon my word I can't guess. Have you been to his brother ?" 

*^ I have ; and he says that in consequence of some unsuccessful 
specuktion he is at present compelled to keep out of the way." 

** Indeed !'' exdauned Mr. St. Ledger, as he pulled down a thick 
heavy book, and referred to a certain page with some apparent anxiety. 
**" It's very, very singular," he continued, having closed the book vnth 
an air of satisfaction, that /should haye known nothing about it. Specu- 
lation ! — ^Oh ! Spanish of course. Yezy foolish ! 1 could have told 
him «11 about it; but if men will act virithout advice in matters of this 
kind, they must of course take the consequences. Don't, however, 
disturb yourself about it. It will all come round right bye and bye, I 
dare say. Foolish man 1 — foolish man l" 

** But is it not very extraordinary that-—" 

^ God bless my life not at all ! I know fifty in the same predicamenti 
and in another week, mark my words, we diall hear of fifty 'more. I 
know it ; I*m sure of it ; I'd stake my existence upon it. I saw how 
it vras going from the first." 

** But the whole of his furniture — " 

^* My dear young friend,'' interrupted Mr. St. Ledger, *^ when you 
are older youll know more ;'' and having made this remarkable observa- 
tion, he placed his hand firmly upon Valentine's shoulder, and in a 
lower tone added, ^' Don't say a smgle syllable about it to any soul. 
Yon may injure his credit materially. He may be inyolved in other 
matters, you know, and if he be, men "mil pounce upon him like tigers 
as they invariably do, when there happens to be anything like a screw 
a little loose." 

** But I fancied that he was a man of some conaderable property." 

^ And so he is ; but men don't let their property sleep. Few men 
are able to pay all demands at an bourns notice. You have heard of a 
run upon the Bank ? — Same thing— same thing. Foolish man ! He'd 
no business to do an3rihing of the sort; but make no stir, no noise^ no 
enquiries: not a word on tiie subject to any single soul if you don't wish 
to mjure his credit." 

Valentine had certainly no wish to do that, and as he found that he 
tsould get nothing more from Mr. St. Ledger, who treated the whole thing 
as a business-like matter of course, he left the office considerably re- 
lieved ; albeit, when he reflected upon the extraordinary conduct of 
Walter in the salesroom as he imitated Goodman's voice, he still felt 
that there was something at the bottom of the affiur which had not 
entered into Mr. St. Ledger's purely commercial calculations. He liiere- 
fore resolved to keep an eye upon the fiunily, and just as he had made 
up his mind to be silent for a time, he crossed a well-built business-like 
street, at the bottom of which stood an old-&shioned edifice, whose front 
was adorned with a couple of rampant and highly respectable looking 
griffins which seemed to be erinning with remarkable energy at an 
overgrown cauliflower cap which stood between them, and dig^ng 
their claws into a poor devoted heart which already contained a dagger. 



VAX.ENTINB VOX. 131 

and which, with the griffins, snrmonnied the motto of ^' Domine Dirigc 
Not." 

As the ^tes of this remarkable edifice stood open, and as persons 
were wolkmg in and out with great freedom of step, he at once passed 
the portal, and introduced himself into a fur-sized hall with a flag-stone 
floor, two apologies for galleries, four groups of sculpture upon rather 
lofty pedestals, and a queerly stained wmdow at each end. As Valen- 
tine entered, the place seemed to wear, a vacant hungry aspect, but on 
turning to the western extremity, he perceived a rather interesting 
couple of full-blown gentlemen on guard, and concluded, that if they 
had been trained in that hall, it was clearly no place for the genius of 
starvation. As these two gigantic gentlemen seemed to form the chief 
attraction, Valentine approached them with a view to a more minute 
survey. The first that he examined sported a pair of white trowsers, 
which he had outgrown considerably, and he stood in his shirt sleeves 
quite ready for action. His breast was adorned with a broad crimson 
scarf, and in his rieht hand he held a long pole^ from the top of which 
hung a ball studded with interesting spikes, invented obviously to 
pume the brains of all with whom they might come in immediate eon- 
tact. This personage looked down very mournfully, albeit his counte- 
nance was very much flushed, and his brows were adorned with a 
painted wooden circlet, which conveyed to the imaginative the idea of a 
wreath of laurels. The other was a bolder looking fellow altogether, but 
even he looked as if he had not for some time been quite comfortable 
in his mind. He wore a green tunic, held a shield in one hand, and a 
spear in the other, while his sword belt and sandals were so painted, as 
to impart a correct notion of sapphires, rubies and pearls. 

Just as Valentine had concluded his survey of these warriors, two 
pale thin diminutive individuals approached. They were Spitalfields 
weavers, and had been conducted to that quarter of the world to receive 
a magisterial admonition for hunting an old cow, which, by an extra- 
ordinary stretch of the caoutchouc imagination, they had conceived to 
be a raving mad bull. 

^ Sen I may live Bill I My hi vot a vunner 1'* exclaimed one of 
these interesting young gentlemen. *' Jist on'y twig his shanks ! Vy 
it'd take seven yards and a arf o' thrums on'y to make that ere cove a 
pair o' garters !" 

*'*' Vidi is Oog and vich is Magog V* enquired his companion, who 
was an emblem of simplicity in his way. 

^*Vy him in the smalls to be sure!" replied the other, ^^an they 
both on em cuts avay to dinner ven they ears that ere dock strike 
vun." 

*'*' Vorker !" observed his companion, as with a knowing wink he 
pointed to his left shoulder. *' Tell that to the moreens." 

** Veil on'y jist vait till they 'ears it an' then you'll be conwinced," 
said the other with a chuckle. '^ Them *ere*8 the on*y two vich Jack 
the Giant-killer couldn't vop" — an observation which induced his com- 
panion to gaze upon the long-bearded giant with mingled admiration 
and amazement. 



132 LIFE IKD ADTBNTirKfiS OV 

** Well r exclaimed Yalenibe, imparting a deeply iodigiiaiii tene to 
thegreat Gog ; ^ What are you staring at-^-M 9'* 

l%e greener indiTidnal gnuped the arm of his ffnide, and as he was 
at the moment in the act of shrinking back himsdf, the additional im- 
petus knocked him fairly down, and his friend ftU heavily npon him. 

^* Away !" cried Gog» tiiroagh the immedkie instmmeDtdity of 
-Valentine. ^' How dare you insult my friend T exdaimed Msffo^, 
through precisely the same medium ; *^ Retreat V and the two httte 
terror-stncken weaTers scrambled up witii aM imaginable alacrity, aad 
rushed towards the portal The moment tiiey lukd reached it, a pei^ 
eonage, evidently high in office, enveloped in a robe trimmed tastily 
with frir and embeSished with an immense gold chain, preceded by m 
military individnal, with a Marshal's hat in one hand and a staff in the 
other ; and a graver looking person, who carried a remarkably long 
sword, hi^pened to be prooeeoinz, with unequivocal solenmity, into 
the htHly from a gaily emblazoned carriage, from which he had just 
alighted. Against those who composed this truly dignified processioii, 
the little weavers ran, most certaanly without premeditation, and almost 
unconsciously, but with so much force, that in an instant the personage 
ad<Nnied with the chain, was on tbejground, with the two little weavsn 
strugffling desperately upon hhn. The grave bearer of the long swoid^ 
and tibe military-looking individnai, at once dropped their d^nity and 
rushed to his assistance, while several minor officials tried to secure the 
little weavers, who managed, however, to bob through their hands iifca 
a couple of small silver eds, and succeeded eventnaSy in darting right 
away. 

The affectionate oonoeni manifested by those around towards th« 
personage who had been so unceremoniously placed ia a horizontal posi- 
tion was excessive. Their apprehensions for the safety of his person as 
a whole, and for the perfect integrity of each particular Kmb, were m^ 
speakable. They could not by any process make up their minds to 
believe, that he was unhnrt : they weve perfectly certain thht he had 
been in the receipt of some serious injury ; and it was not until he had 
earnestly rorterBted his assurances that all was quite ri^ht, that the pro- 
cession moved slowly and solemi^ across the hall, and then up a mght 
of steps into a long narrow passage. 

^^ To what place does that lead ?" enquired Valentine, of a persoa 
who was standing very thoughtfully wi^ hb thumbs stuck firmly in 
the arm-holes of his waistcoat. 

^ Which ? That ? Oh, to all sorts of offices, and rooms, and courts, 
and places," replied that tlioughtfnl person. 

*' Indeed !" observed Valentine, gratefully acknowledging the ex* 
tremdy ex^Xmt character of the information ; ^^ Is there any thing of 
importance going forward?" 

^^ Why, I s'pose," said the communicative creature, ^ ^ey'ie agoing 
for to hold a Court of Alderman perhaps, I shouldn^t wonder, or some- 
thing of that sort no doubt, but I don't exactly know ;" and he walkri 
towards the statue of the great Lord Chatham. 

In Valentine's mind the idea of an Alderman was associated with all 




■-''6, /„// ,•. //> l;,;r ■ /v.,/,w. 



TJLUnmMB TOK. iSd 

ihsfcisbt, SttemtM qpeoina of bsroiii ef btef, Tetiiaoti, tiiit^ «z^ 
and nraUigfttawny flHted Tividly amroBi hii imagilmtioii tiao retf i»^ 
ment he heard the sound of the nikne. Ha oxpeeted to te* thett all 
iNith gkmous cowntekumoeSy adorned, of ooune, with rich poi^ phnples, 
aad noees nsemUiiiff fine bunohes of sm>ei« with double chms. ittH" 

ward as to render it impossUjIe for any one of tmm to oatch even a 
glimpse of his toes, which, as a aatuial matter of oonise, he oonosl^idi 
must be goutf. He had, from his earMest infimcy, been led to beUere, 
by ev€^ print which had even the smallest precisions to a futhM 
portrayal of aidenmanic diaracteristics, that no kind of men could in 
lealitgr bo aldemen, unless they were beefy-fined, broad individuida, 
whoso most capadbns paunches nipaited to them the power of eotgteg, 
and stowing away quaatities of matter idtogether unexampled. HS, 
therefore, «t once made up his mind to fiee tweaty-fbur natural curio- 
Bities» ezdiasiye of the Lord Mayor, idiom, of course, he imagined to be 
the fattest and tbe joUiest of the lot, and henoe proceeded up the passage, 
placed a coin into tbe open hand of a person m a bine stuff gown, and 
requested to be shown at once into the Court. 

'^ It ain't a Court of Aldermen to-day," said that penon. 
'< t^dl, what is H then?'' 
'' It's a Court of Common OounciL" 
** Indeed ! who presides ? 
" Vy, the Lord Majror in course !" 

** Oh, tiiat iHll do," said Valentine, and into ike chamber he went ; 
bbt as he saw a small, thin^faoed personage in the chair— the very 
peBBonagev *n ^*^ whom he had seen knocked down by the Hftte 
weavers^*^ felt peltfeotly sure that ihem inust be some mistake f He^ 
therefore, casM out at once, and addressiBg tbe individual In tiie gown, 
said, ^^ I wanted to go into the ether davai V 
" Vot other oonrtl" 

*' Why, thto Court of Cmnmon Council." 
'' Yell ! that is tiie Court of Common Council I" 
^^ Indeed/' observed Valentine with an expression of incredulity ; 
^ Whta will the Lord Mayor arrive T 

^ The Lord Mayor kat arrived 1 That's him in the cheer.*' 
Valentine looked at the Ibllow as if be meant to pin him to the wall. 
'* Do you mean to tell me," said he, ^ that that httle man is the real 
Lord Mayor T 

*^ In course he's the real un, and notlnnk ebe," replied the main. 
"" Don't you see his goold chain and the sword of jistice afore him V 

^ Weil," thought Valentine, «« this is extraordinary. Has he been 
31?" beenqnfaed. 

<' Hill ? no ; Tot made yon tUnk of that 'ere?" 
'^ Simply because he seems to be v^asted almost wholly away." 
'^ Oh, he nev«r was bigger," replied llie man. ^ He was always the 
same si2e since I know'd him, and a good size too." 

Valentine a^in felt amazed. ^ Is it possiUe," thought he, '* that a 
person so smaS can be the Lord Mayor of London 1 Why, he is only 



134 LIFB AND ADVSNTURBS OF 

the ghost of a Lord Mayor !—- the mere skeleton of one ! If the whole 
of the aldermen at the present day are any thing lik0 the same size, 
what a strangely degenerate race they must be !*' 

With such reflections as these he re-entered the court, which was 
really an unique and a well-arranged place, not certainly quite so large, 
but fai more elegantly fitted up than the present House of Commons. 
At the extremity sat the president, who, in spite of the unjustifiable 
incredulity of Y^entine, was the real Loid Mayor, while on either side 
of the chamber, compact rows of civic senators were arranged on re* 
markably well stuffed benches, and they aU looked extremiely nice and 
comfortable except when they yentured to rise. Valentine could not 
help smiling at the change which the mere act of rising induced in the 
countenances of the honourable members generally. When sitting 
they appeared to be perfectly at ease, conndenoe glowed upon ihea 
cheeks, and they looked as fierce as Bengal tigers wheneyer the de- 
yelopment of fierceness was deemed essential to the safe conveyance of 
an idea of opposition to any sentiment advanced ; but when they rose 
they became as pale as spectres crossed in love, and each trembled with 
more energy than a Neapolitan greyhound with a cold. There were^ 
however, two or three honourable exceptions who laid about them, right 
and left, with extraordinaiy force and efiect, as men who are great 
among little ones will, more especially when the whole of our glorious 
institutions are about to crumble into sanguinaiy dusty and revolution 
stares us fuU in the face without moving a muscle. 

Valentine had no desire to interrupt business. He, therefore, waited 
with patience until all the important questions of the day had been duly 
Gonffldered, when he felt that he might as well enliven the honourable 
members, of whom the majority — as was indeed under the circumstances 
extremely natural — ^manifested a strong inclination to sleep. 

Accordingly, as a prosy individual was proceeding to exphun how 
essential to the security of the Cit/s health it was that a certam Augean 
stable, which formed a short arm of the Thames, should be purified ; 
Valentine ventured to cry ** enough !" making his voice proceed ap- 
parently from the other end of the court. 

*' My Lord Mayor," said the honourable member, who was then on 
his legs ; *' it may, my Lord Mayor, be * enough' for the honourable 
members opposite. Every thing in nature is * enough' for them. 
They would have things remain as they are. Thy would have, my 
Lord Mayor, they would have every thing stagnant. They would 
have, not a huge heap of physical filth alone, but one chaotic ma$t of 
moral muck, that nature might wallow in reeking corruption. They 
would have, my Lord Mayor, the City covered witn intellectual chick- 
weed, roreading its conta^ous influence from Temple Bar to Aldgate 
pump !'^ — ^a highly poeticu observation, which was loudly cheered by 
the honourable members on the eloquent gentleman's side, of whom 
several cried totto voce, " Walk into him ! — give it him home ! — sarve 
him out !" '* They would have," continued the speaker, ^^ they would 
have, my Lord Mayor" — 
" Sit down !" cried Valentine. 



YALBNTtMB YOX. 1S5 



Ui 



Oh! of conne 1 donbtleBB!'' lesnmed the intenrnpied indiYidiial, in a 
highly sarcastic tone. '^ Thejr would like me, my lord mayor, to-—" 

^* Stick to the question !" cried Yalentine. 

^^The question, observed the speaker, ^*is the very thing to which 
I do stick ! It is solely in consequence of my sticking to the question 
that makes me—" 

" An idiot !'' cried Valentine. " Down ! Dont expose yourself.* 

^ Order ! order ! order !'* shouted several honourable members ; while 
several others chuckled at the prospect of a somewhat lively scene. 

^ Will the honourable member who was pleased to make that obser- 
yation stand forth like a man V* cried the eloquent speaker very loudly, 
and with no inconsiderable wrath. 

Yalentine enquired the name of an honourable member who happened 
to be asleep in one comer of the courts and having ascertained his name 
to be Snobson, proceeded, in various voices, to call upon Mr. Snobson 
for a prompt and unconditional apology. The name of Snobson was 
loudly reiterated by honourable members, who felt sure that Snobson 
was the man, and that he was then feigning sleep for the sole purpose 
of avoiding detection. 

At length the calls for Snobson became so loud, that that gentleman 
awoke, and after rubbing his eyes with some considerable energy, begged 
naturally enough to know why he was called upon, seeing that he had 
no motion whatever to bring before the court. His innocence, how* 
ever, was felt to be assumed, and it was held that such an assumption 
ought not to protect him. They therefore called still more energeti- 
cally, *' Snobson ! Snobson !'' accompanying that call, with the demand 
for a most ample apology. 

Mr. Snobson felt confused. He was a stout stumpy person, but still 
he Mi confused. He looked pale and red alternately for some few 
minutes, when his complexion settled down into a yellowish blue ; and 
as the demand for an vpolosy was reiterated with increased zeal, he at 
iength said, with all due sotemnity and point : — *' My lord mayor. I 
cant say as I exactly understand the true natur of this ere business : but 
all I've got to say is, that all I can say is this 'ere, wiz, that if I've done 
any body any how vnon^, I am willing in course to make it right ; for 
there's no indiwidual in itkw 'ere court more readier to apologise for the 



same." 



c< 



Apology ! apology !" shouted several honourable members. 

^ Yot for ? Yot have I done ? Tell me that f ' cried Mr. Snobson, 
who really began to set warm upon the subject. 

^ If the honourabfo member,'' observed the mayor, with much pre- 
cision and dignity, ^ made use of the expression attributed to the 
honourable member, I am sure the honourable member will perceive 
the necessity which exists for its immediate withdrawal." 

Here the demands for an apology were loudly reiterated by those 
who were anxious to fix upon some one, it mattered not whom a single 



136 LIFE ANP ADYBNTUHES OF 

meduit9 xe§ma<» to Mr. Saobson wa9 ragavded 03 an exoeplioa hy no 
means. 

'^My lord mayor/' sud the honourable accused calmly, aflber a pauses 
duriog whicb he had be^ looking about him as if he had lost some 
d^ar ui^nd. ^^ Yen I know th^ percise natur of the fucquisaUon, m 
perceed for to rebut the same and not afore/' 

*^ It wont do, Master Snob^on ; it wont do^ my boy 1*' cried Valentine 
ia a sonorous wobbling voice, whose tones singularly enough resembled 
those of an honourable member who appeared to be deriving mueh 
, amusement from the manifest confusion of the accused. 

The lord mayor, as soon as he had recovered from the state of amaae* 
ment into which he had been thrown by the anti-senatorial style of thai 
wobbling address to Mr. Snobson, rose steadily and solemnly, and look- 
ing with due severity of aspect full in the face of the honourable 
member whose voice had been so unjustifiably aasumed, said : — ^' J 
really ^am sorry to be compelled to make any remark touching the 
conduct of any honourable member, but I have a great pubUc duty to 
perform, which duty I certainly should not perform, were I not to say 
that honourable members should remember that they are where they 
arer 

The tail of this stinging rebuke was so pointed, that it appeared to 
pierce the soul of the honourable member for whom the whole of its 
poignancy was designed, for he instantly rose, and placing his hand mth 
much solemnity upon his heart, said : — ^' My lord mayor* Hif it be 
imamned it was me, it's a butter misbapprehension, 'cause it wasn't I" 

^^Why you know thai it was !" shouted Valentine, throwing his 
voice just behind the honourable member, who on the instant turned 
round with the velocity of a whipping-top, and scrutinized the counte- 
nance of every member in his vicinity, with the view of asoertaining 
who had utteied those words. 

" Really," said the Mayor, ^^ these proceedings are most inegular;" 
and the justice of that observation was duly appreciated by ul, save 
Valentine, who, with the most reprehensible temerity, exdaimed, 
*^ Mind your own business I" and that to the Lord Mayor I 

^^ Mind my own business l" cried his Lordship, utterly shocked ai 
the monstrous character of that injunction. ^' Mind my own busi- 
ness!" he repeated in a stiU more intensely solemn tone; and he looked 
round amaaed, and held his breath to give his bosom an opportunity of 
swelling with indignation, and then turned to the Recorder, and said, 
" Did you ever?" to which the Recorder replied, " No, I never !" 

^ Shame 1 Shame I" shouted several honourable members the very 
moment they had recovered the power to shout. 

'^ Mind my own business !" cried his Lord^p for the third tim% 
and Valentine, regardless of the official d^nity of the firnt magistrate of 
the first city in the worlds absolutely cried again, *' Yes I mind your 
own business !" 

A thrill of honor ran clean through the court. Every member ap- 
peared to be paralysed. However cold-blooded, however atrocious, 
nowever unequivocally vile that observation might have struck ihem as 






VALIBNTINB VOX. 137 

being, it was one to which they weie unable to conceive a sufficient 
answer. Several of them made desperate efforts to rise, with the view 
of protesting against and denouncing its sjMrit, but every faculty, phy* 
ffical as wdl as moral, appeared to have forsaken them, and death- like 
siloioe for some time prevailed. 

At length his Loidship^ recollecting what was due to himself fis a 
Mayor and as a man, broke the spell which had bound him> and said, 

I demand an explanation V 

An explanation ?" said Valentine. 

^ Aye! an explanation !" cried bis Lordship with great magnanimity. 
** I have been told by some honourable member to mind my own busi- 
ness. I am, I beg to say, I am minding my own business. I beg the 
honourable member to understand that it U my own business, and I 
beg to inform him farther, that so long as I have the honour to occupy 
this chair, tiie respect which is due to the office I have the honour to 
hold shall be enfarced H 

At this monienit Valentine had the audacity to make three distinct 
bursts of lauffhter apparently proceed from three different quarters. 

^ I wish,' continued his Lordship, tuffging desperately at liis official 
habiliments ; ^^ I wish honourable membm distinctly, to understand 
that I am not to be insulted. The dignity — ^" 

" Dignity !" interrupted Valentine in a tone of bitter mockery, 
which, under any oircnmstanoes, would have been extremely culpable. 
" Dignity !" 

^ I repeat it !" cried his Lordship with considerable warmth. ^' The 
d^ffnity of the office to which I have been elected shall descend from me 
untarnished V* 

Before the cheering which this majestic observation elicited had com'* 
pletely died away, an honourable member, whose portly persm and 
crimson face met Valentine's views of what an Alderman ought to be^ 
rose for the purpose of moving a direct vote of censure ; but no soon^ 
had he explained the object for which he had risen, than Valentino 
shouted, ^^ Upon whom ?*' and in a moment there were loud orie$ of 
** Name ! name ! name !" which seemed to puzale the honourable mem- 
ber exceedingly. ^^ I am not,** said he at length, after having held a 
conference with those around him, ^^ in possession of the honourable 
member's name, but probably some other honourable member will in^ 
form me." 

Valentine had unfortunately heard but one honourable member's 
name mentioned, and therefore had no hesitation in calling out ^'Snobsonr' 

^ No, no !" cried that honourable member, starting up and appealing 
energetically to many other honourable members who bore instant tes- 
timony to the f^id of his being innocent. 

^^ As ^ as I am personally concerned,'' observed his Lordship, who 
bad been straggling to regain his apparent equanimity, '^ I should take 
no farther notice of the insulting expression, but I feel it to be my duty 
as chief magistrate." 

*^ You a chief magistrate I" cried Valentine, who had really a great 



Idd LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP 

contempt for the size of his lordship, albeit, he held the office in rery 
high respect. ** You are jokiue !" 

^^ Joking !*' cried his Lordship with an expression of horror. 

*^ Do you think that you are fit now to be a chief magistrate?" said 
Valentine, " Why, you don't weigh above nine stone two !" 

An honourable member knitting his brows and looking remarkably 
fierce, rose to move that the offensiTe expressions be taken down, and 
*' Mind your own business." " You a chief magistrate !" — " Do you 
think that you are fit now to be a chief magistrate V* — and ^^ Why, you 
don't weigh above nine stone two — " were taken down accordingly. 

*^ Now," said that honourable gentleman, ^' I will not, my Lord 
Mayor, look for precedents with the view of ascertaining how to act in 
this case, for as conduct like that which we have witnessed is altogether 
unprecedented, no precedent for such conduct can be found ; but I 
mean to say this, my Lord Mayor, that nothing more utterly disgrace* 
ful more desperately atrocious, more palpably irregular, or more alto- 
gether out of the way, ever occurred in this or any other court, either in 
this or in any other country, laying claim to the highest point in the 
scale of civilisation ; and aU I can say, my Lord Mayor, is this, that 
such conduct reflects the very lowest and most abominable pitch of 
shame upon the honourable member — I care not whom he is — for he 
has not the common manliness to avow like a man the detestable ut- 
terance of language on the one hand so monstrously vile, my Lord 
Mayor, and so rash and extremely leatherheaded on the other !" 

This burst of indignant eloquence was hailed with loud cheers, and 
as the general impression was that the ofiending party never could 
stand such a broadside as that, honourable members looked round with 
considerable anxiety for the rising of the delinquent. For several 
seconds the suspense was profound, when, as the offender by no means 
came f(H*th, due contempt was inspired for the character of such a man, 
and an alderman rose with the most perfect self-possession for the pur- 
pose of expressing hb sentiments on the subject. 

It was evident at a glance, that this worthy individual was one of 
the most brilliant of the sparkling wits vrith which civic society is so 
abundantly studded. He appeared to be perfectly at home, and after 
smiling a most interesting, if not a most fiiscinating smile, observed : — 
^^ Beally this appears to be a very queer business ; but that branch of 
the business which seems the most queer, is that which refers to your 
lordship's weight. The honourable member complains that your lord- 
ship don't weigh more than nine stone two, and his estimate appears to 
be, as far as it goes, as nearly correct as possible ; but he contends that 
your lorddiip is not a fit and proper person to be a chief magistrate, 
becatue you dont weigh more than nine stone two ! Why what in the 
name of all that's rational would he have a chief magistrate weigh ? 
Would he like to have every Lord Mayor a huge mountain of flesh, — 
a human porpoise ? Would he have him ele<Sed by weight vrith the 
standard fixed at twenty or five-and- twenty stone V* 

^^He ought certainly to have a little flesli upon Ids bones," cried 
Valentine, throwing his voice behind the speaker. 



VALRNTIlfK VOX. IStt 

^* Flesh !" cried the worthy and eloquent alderman wheeling sharply 
round, '^ A little flesh 1 Upon my word this is very extraordinary. 
An error has heen engendered in the minds of the ignorant — an error 
which has descended in taety from generation to generation with the 
most hereditary regularity, until it has partaken of the diaracter of an 
heir loom— > that aldermen possess all the external characteristics of 
gluttons in consequence of their assumed unconquerable inclination to 
feed to satiety, when, in point of fiict, aldeimen, instead of beinff gorgera, 
and crammen, and stowers away oi immense masses of food, are de- 
ddedly the most abstemious body of men in existence. I know— nay, 
we all know, that aldermen, like bishops, are, to please the morbid 
taste of the vulgar, represented as persons with red bloated cheeks, 
mnlbeny noses, and immense corporations, although the great majority 
of them are extremely narrow-bellied, with bo more inclination to 
obesity than drummers ; but when I hear an honourable member of this 
court, who must know all the aldermen personally, contend that a man 
is unfit to fin the office of chief magistrate because he don't weigh 
above nine stone two, I must say, that in the annals of queer affairs, a 
queerer don't stand upon record." 

This novel and eloquent speech did not appear to give general 
satisfiaction. It is true, the worthy aldermen present— of whom there 
were several — ^held their savory breath, and tried desperately to make 
their abdominal drums look genteel, and endeavoured — with a virtuous 
view doubtless — to swallow the belief that they really were very ab- 
stemious men ; but the commoners, who had been in the habit of look- 
ing forward with delisht to the grand periodical feasts, keenly felt that 
if such an inhospitable, hungry idea as that of abstemiousness being 
held to be one of the civic virtues, were to obtain, the glowing membera 
of the corporation would be frozen into whole-hog tee-totallers, and the 
Mansioa-house itsdf^ would be metamorphosed, eventually, into a 
shivering tonpeiance den. That so revolting a state of things ought 
by no means to be promoted, they were perfectly and naturally c(mi- 
vinced : they, therefore, folt it incumbent upon tliem as citizens, to re- 
pudiate the notion with sovereign contempt, and, as Valentine perceived 
the expression of this feeling to be almost universal, he raised a loud 
laugh at the conclusion of the worthy alderman's oration, which was 
promptly responded to in tones of bitter irony. 

^' It's hall wenry well for the court to be merry/' said an honourable 
member, when the laughter had subsided ; ^' but touching the hinsult I 
vot about that ? — ^the indignity showered upon the cheer ! — that's vot I 
mean for to contend should be noticed.'^ 

*^ Yot a hanimal !" said Valentine, ** exasperating the A, and con- 
temning the correct pemounciation of the wo well." 

^^ Such language^" cried his Lordship indignantly, ^^ cannot be to- 
lerated." 

^^ Why don't you then make him speak better ?" cried Valentine, 
which was certainly, under the circumstances, extremely reprehensible. 

^^ Order l" exclaimed the Lord Mayor, " I will not sit here to be thus 
insulted !" 



140 LIFB Ann ADTSNTUEBB OF 

^^ bailie ! afaame !" shouted several honoarable members 
ously, while his Lordship conferred with the Recorder. 

^' It's perfectly disgraceful !" cried several othen, but the majority 
were soiiling as if they enjoyed it. 

^^ I do not," said his Lordship, having taken the opinion of his legal 
adviser, ^* by any means envy the feelings of those honourable membere 
whose conduct this day has been so hi^Uy discreditable, but I do hope 
and trust that they wMl reflect upon the course they have adopted, and 
as I find it impossible to recall due attention to business, I have only 
to add, that this court is adjourned. 

His Lordship then rose, and as the honourable members were form- 
ing themselves into groups, with the view of expressing their private 
opinions on the subject, Valentine left them to revel in conjecture, and 
quietly quitted GuUdhall. 



CHAPTER XVIIL 

SHOWS WHAT A COKSCIENCB GOODMAn's BROTHER HAD. 

It has been said that some men have no oonseienoe ; but if such men 
there be, they must be dead men ; and as dead men have been said to 
be no men at all, the two positions form a problem, of which the so- 
lution is not easy. It seems plain enough — yet who knows ? — ^tbat a 
man without a conscience must be without a soul ; and were the ex- 
istence of sQch an animal recorded in natural histoiy, the thing would 
be at once as dear as crystal ; but as we have no record of any such 
thing, the fair inferoice is^ that the first grand podtioa has yet to be 
established. Be this, however, just as it may, it is perfectly certain 
that Walter had a conseiesoe; and one, too, which belonged em- 
phatically to the working class of consdences— a conscience which 
delighted in the cultivation of moral thorns, which pricked and stung 
him day and niirht with much point and effect. His brother's form was 
perpetually in hU « mind's eye? his brother's Yoice as perpetually ran^ 
m his imagination's ear: nature's sweet restorer was conquered and 
kicked about by nature's grim disturber, and a very fine time of it he 
had upon the whole. Nor were the minds of his amiable fiBimily much 
more at ease ; forasmuch as they had no predse knowled^ as to the 
whereabout of Goodman, they were induced by the horrible state pf 
Walter's nerves to apprehend that he had either murdered him, or caused 
him to be murdered, but dreaded that only in eoneequenee oif such an 
event being calculated to bring down upon him the vengeance of the 
law. 

'' It's of no use," observed Mrs. Walter, a few evenings afUnr the 
furniture had been sold by private contract; *^ It isn't of the slightest 
earthly use, you know, attempting to go on in this way. I must have 



TAXBJfTmB TOX. 141 

a aepiuate bed. I really cannot sleep with yon^-I cannot indeed ; for 
you talk, and groan, and sigh, and tlirow your arms about, and kick /^* 
I'm sure my legs are noUiing but one mass of bruises; and as for the 
clothes ! — ^if I pull them on once during the night, I have to pull them 
on at least fifty times. I can't endure it — I really oamiot if you go 
on in this way, and so it don't signify talking t" 

*^ It's very unpleasant V observed Mrs. Horace, sympathetically. 

^' Unpleasant, my dear ! — it s really dreadful I 1 wonder, I'm sure, 
that I don't catch my death. There was only last night — ^you know 
how tired I was? — well, I hadn't been asleep five minutes when he turned 
on his right side, and off they all went I — ^blankets, sheet, counterpane, 
— everySiing in the world ; although I pinned them, as I thought, 
securely to the palliasse, and tucked Uiem well in before I got into bed." 

'' That's just for all the world like my Horace, when he comes home 
a little bit tipsy." 

'' Of course !" cried Horace. '« What is it I don't do ?" 

*^ Why you know you do everything that's disagreeable, then ; you 
torn about and snore, and" — 

*'*' Now you have said it ! / snore !-— come that's good-— you won t 
beat that to-night ! I never snore ; I'd scorn the action I If I were 
ever to catch myself at it, I'd get up and cut my own throat. I detest 
it — I can't snore." 

" My goodness, Horace !'* 

" I never do it, I tell you !— -Surely I ought to know !" 

** But how can you know when you're asleep ?" 

to snore 
wake myself?" 

** Well/* said Mrs. Walter, " I don't know, I'm sure, who it was ; 
but when you slept in the next room to us, I know one of you used to 
make a horrible noise." 

" Why, of course I — that was Poll!" observed Horace, " «ft«'# a 
regular out-and-out snorter." 

^* Why, good gracious, Horace !" 

** Well, you know that you are ! It's of no use denying it. Before 
I got used to it I couldn't get a wink while you were cutting away in 
that dreadful state of mind ; but, like everything else, it has become so 
natural that I look for it, and can't close my eyes till you begin." 

" Well, your fiither never snores," said Mrs. Walter, " I must say 
that ; but he does kick most cruelly." 

** Well ! some more grog !" growled Walter, whose obseqaious 
mawiers had been changed into those of a bear, and whose countenance 
developed a fixed and suUen gloom. 

" Don't drink any more, there's a love !" said Mrs. Walter, " you've 
had five very strong glasses already." 

^^ What if I've had five-and-fifty ! I don't care a dump : I want 
more t" 

" Well, it must be a very very little, aud that very weak." 

^' Here, push it this way ! — I'll mix for myself. You scarcely take 



A^HW CAWT ^/<*U jrVIA XkklVTT TT IIVKA T VU AV> CKUV^Lf f 

Do you mean to tell me that you'll make me believe that if I were 
aore away, and grunt like a jolly old hog in distress, I shouldn't 



142 LIFE AND ADYBNTURBS OF 

the rawness off the water." And he did mix, hut scarcely took th* 
rawness off the hrandy ; and having mixed, and swallowed the greater 
part of the mixture, his muscles appeared to he a little relaxed, and he 
made a very lamentable effort to sing 

^ Mynheer Van Dunk, who oever got drunk^ 

Sipped brandy and water gaily; 
He qnenched his thirst with two quarts of the first. 

To a pint of the latter, daily, 

To a pint of the latter, daily.*' 

'^ The ffovemor's getting mops and brooms," whispered Horace to 
his amiable spouse ; *'*' he*s going it ! I shouldn't at all wonder if he 
opens, by-and-bye, like a porcupine. I say," he continued, addressing 
his venerable &ther, ^^ won't you have a cheroot ? Here's an out-and- 
outer here !" and he picked out the blackest and strongest he could 
find, which Walter took, and began to smoke desperately. 

^^ Try him now," whispered the senior Mrs. Goodman. 

" Well, how do you like it V 

^' Not at all : it's particidarly nasty," replied Walter, ^* but anything 
to drive the blue devils away. 

' Begone, dull care ! I pr^ytbee begone from me I' 

I say, old girl ! lct*s have a bowl of punch ! 

' If any pain or care remain, 
Let's drown it in a bo — o— owl.* 

Who cares ? who cares, eh ? Give us a kiss, old girl I Why don't 
you sing ? Come, let's have a song all round !" 

'^ The thing was well managed," said Horace, ^' after all, eh ? — 
wasn't it ?" 

*' No ! not at all ! it wasn't well managed ! — ^he saw me;— it wasn't 
well managed !" 

^^ I wonder how he liked it." 

^' Ask him 1" cried Walter, directing his eyes to a vacant part of the 
room. ^^ There I ask him ! — there he is !" 

^^ Where I" shouted Horace, as he, liis wife, and mother turned to 
the spot to which Walter still pointed. 

'^ Why, there ! Are you blind ? — He has been standing up there for 
the last hour !" 

**• Good gracious ! how you frighten me !" exclaimed Mrs. Goodman, 
^^ you make my very blood run cold. It's just the way you went on 
last night. You would have it that he was standing at the foot of the 
bed." 

^' And so he was ! — but who cares ?" and he nodded to the space to 
which he had pointed, and emptied the glass. *^ Well, why don't you 
sing ? — Here 1 mix some more grog." 

*'*' I say, where have you stowed him ?" enquired Horace. 

" Don't I tell you he's there !" 

^^ Oh, nonsense! but where did you take him to ?" 

Walter pushed the candles aside, and having closed one eye to make 
the other more powerful and steady, looked earnestly at Horace, and 



VALttNTlKB vox. 143 

eaid, '' Don't ask any qoestions, and then you'll not have to tell lies. — 
Now, where*8 this brandy and water? — ^The treacherous crew I They'd 
no light to let him out ! They promised they wouldn't, so long as I 
kept up my pajonents ; yet there he is now !" and he covered his eyes 
with his handy and sank back in the chair, in which, yielding to the 
combined influences of brandy and tobacco, he soon fell asleep. 

" He has dropped off," said Horace, " don't wake him. I never 
before saw him above half so far gone." 

" But how strange !" said Mrs. Goodman, "is it not? There is, 
however, one consolation, I think he hasn't rushed into extremes." 

'' No ! that's pretty certain," said Horace, ^^ I thought he had at 
first. But where can he have stowed him ? That puzzles me above a 
bit* He couldn't have cocked him into a workhouse ; nor could he 
weU have fixed him in prison. It certiunly is about the rummest thing 
I ever heard of." 

^* Probably," suggested Mrs. Goodman, '^ he has sent him abroad !" 

^* Not a bit of it !" cried Horace, '^ he's somewhere near at hand. 
Besides, you know, he isn't a fool. He wouldn't be kept there — hush !" 
he added sharply, for Walter at the moment gave a strong convulsive 
start. 

" That's the way he goes on throughout the night," gently whispered 
Mrs. Goodman, " hush, listen ! — hes dreaming ! ' 

'' There are a kind of men so loose of soul. 
That in their sleep will mutter their affairs ;" 

and one of this " kind " was Walter. 

" Now do your worst!" cried he, folding his arms with an air of 
defiance. **• Do your worst ! — ^I am safe ! — ^The certificate i — ^that was 
the authority. — Well, I know it ! what of that ? — And so you were ! — 
you were mad ! — No ! not at all ! — Why for your safety ! — Look to 
those who certified. — Not a word ! — Do it l-^I'm ready to defend my- 
self! — Cool! veiy cool! — Never! don't believe it." Having uttered 
these sentences, as if in answer to a series of interrogatories, he curled 
bis lip proudly ; but in toesmg his head, he struck it against the back of 
the chair with so much force, that he awoke on the instant, and started 
up, exclaiming, " Oky you shall pay dearly for that ! — that blow shall 
be your last ! Now !" 

" Walter !" exclaimed Mrs. Goodman, who, with the assistance of 
Horace, sustained him. " Walter ! awake !" 

" Did you not see him strike me ?" 

" No I no 1 he is not here." 

" How can you tell me that? why there he stands now! — Am I not 
to believe my own eyes ? Have you all turned against me ? Curse you 
all ! Why do you hold me ? — I'll strangle him ! — ^Why do you hold 
ine ?" and he stared again wildly, and pomted to the imaginary form of 
him whom he had injured. " Let me go !" he continued struggling 
with additional violence ; " Am I to be pinioned here, while he thus 
triumphs over me?*' 

^ dome, come !" said Hoiaee, ^* fight it out another time. I'll bet 



i'^4 LIFE AMD ADyBNTURBS OF 

ten to one yon can beat him ; bat let*8 have a clear stage, you knoWi 
and no fiivour." 

'< My dear, dear WalteE, wake m" said Mxb. Ooodman, |^ it is 
nothing but a di«un. ' Indeed, indeedf he is not here, love I he is not, 
indeed r 

'' No, he isn't here now ; you have let him esoape 1 

'' Of course, he has cut it," said Horace. '^ Nev^ mind ; take it 
out of him to-morrow. He has got no bottom, you know ; he never 
had. Come, governor, oome!" and as Walter had sunk into their 
arms in a state of exhaustion, they quietly carried him up to bed. 

^ The murder's out now," savd Horace, retaining to the parlour. 
*' He has put the old boy into some private madhouse t there can't be 
two opinions about it. I now see it all now/' 

*' Good gracious me, impossible i" ezcUumed Mrs. Goodman. ^* Why, 
he is not mad !" 

'^ Oh ! that makes no sort of odds at all !" rejoined Horace. 

^* But surely they would not take him in unless he were?" 

*^ Wouldn't they I What does it matter to tkmi whether a man's 
mad or not, so long as he's paid for ? I could shove the old governor 
there to-morrow if I chose; and he could do the same for me. It 
don't matter a straw who it is. They've only to send for a eoople of 
jolly mad-doctors, the minority of whom are to be bought for half a 
sovereign, and they'll sign away like rattle-snakes." 

" What ! without knowing whether the man's insane or not ?" 

*^ Without knowing I — what is it to them I They are called in to 
certify ; — they are paid to certify ; — they therefore do certify, and pocket 
the coin." 

*' You perfectly astonish me 1" exelumed Mrs. €h>edman. 

*^ That 8 good !-«• Astonish you /—Why one-half the world would be 
astonished to learn how the thing is arranged by these medical snobs." 

*^ But they examine them of course ?" 

*' Not a bit of it I They will occasionally certify without eren seeing 
the ' patient ;' and if they do take the trouUe to visit him, they question 
him, and harass him, and put him into a most uncomfortaUe state of 
excitement^ in order that they may satisfy their beautiful conscienoes 
that he is in reality insane." 

" But isn't that very wrong ?" 

^ Why it's very convenient. Of course, if we oome to the rights of 
the thing, it is clear that no man should be confined in any one of these 
dens, untU his case had been fully, and publicly investigated. Bat then, 
you see, that wouldn't answer ! They would never be able to get a sane 
man out of the way, however rich he might be, if that sy^am were 
adopted." 

^* But how do they manage it V enquired Mrs. Goodman. 

^' Why, suppose now I wanted to look up the governor. Well, I 
have oidy to write to the propiietor of one of these private bestales to 
this efieot:-^ 

^* Sir, — ^I beg you will send me two blank forms of order and oaiiificala 
to-morrow momsng, together with two stout keepers, for a very violent 



VALENTINE VOX. 145 

patient who is danfferoua, and whom I desire to commit to your care 
and if you will sena also two doctors to certify, it will save a deal of 
trouhle, and much oblige." 

^' Well, at the time appointed, in walk the doctors, who bore the 
old governor with a series of out-and- out questions, until they excite 
him to such a pitch of glory, that he threatens, very naturally, to kick 
them out of the house; and he no sooner reaches this point of the 
compass, than they call in a couple of coal -heaving keepers, who clap 
a strait jacket, or a pair of handcuffs upon him, without any ceremony, 
and bundle him off, with the certificate signed, to the bastile to which 
they belong/' 

^^ And would you be justified in doing this by law ?" 

'' Law ! What should I care about utw ? Law has little to do with 
private lunatic asylums. Once in, the poor devils are booked for the 
whole distance : it must be, indeed, an extraordinary occurrence which 
enables them ever to get out. There they are, and there they stick, so 
long as the payments are kept up ; and when they die, why what does 
it matter wnere or how they are buried ? If they are murdered, it's 
just the same thing : no inquest is held upon the body. The coroner 
has no power there, — ^not a bit of it, — ^nothing of the sort.'* 

^' This really appears to me," said Mrs. Goodman, ^^ to be er y 
dreadful ; but of course they are well treated ?*' 

^' Oh! of course !" returned Horace, ironically; '^ of course 1 they 
have every comfort in life, and all its luxuries. The proprietor is paid 
for each so much a year ; and of course he don't want to make an3rthing 
out of them ! He is generally a mild, out-and-out nice man — a man 
whose humanities are conspicuously developed — and he spends all the 
money he receives, no doubt, in administering to their several necessities^ 
and becomes at once so fond of them, that he never parts with one if he 
can possibly help it, while the pa3rment8 continue to be regular : nay. 
Ills attachments are so extremely strong, that if one of his patients 
should die or escape, he regards it as a veiy veiy serious loss indeed." 

At this moment the cry of " Murder!" was heard from above, and 
that cry was succeeded by a heavy crashing fall, Mrs. Goodman gave 
a shrill scream and &inted; and Horace rushed into the bedroom of 
Walter, whom he found lying prostrate upon the floor. On being 
raised, he was perfectly insensible, and it was some considerable time 
before animation could be restored ; and when it was, his delirium con- 
tinued wild and powerful. Hoiace, therefore, consented to sit up all 
night; and having sent his wife and mother to bed, got a bottle of 
brandy and a box of cheroots, and then dropped into a Targe easy chair 
with appropriate resignation. 



14(? LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 



CHAPTER XIX. 



THE widow's victim. 



As Valentine sat in his own room alone the evening on which the oon^- 
science of Walter had developed itself to his amiahle family, wondering 
what had hecome of the card which had been given to him by the father 
of the lovely creature, whom he rescued from '' Old Father Thames," 
the servant of the widow with whom he lodged knocked gently at the 
door, and having entered, said, " O, if you pie, sir, misseses compliments^ 
and says she hopes you'll excuse the liberty, but she has a little party 
to-night, and she will be so happy if you'll join 'em, as she's sure it 
must be lonesome to be here alone." 

" Your mistress is very polite," said Valentine, " I'll do myself the 
pleasure, — Oh, have you seen a small glazed card about the room ?" 

^' No, I haven't, sir — least ways, not to my knowledge ; but if I 
should see" — 

**• 1 have it !" said Valentine. *^ My compliments to your mistress ; 
I'll be down in five minutes." 

Although it may probably be inferred from Valentine's exclamation, 
'' I have it !" that he had it, he had it not ; but simply recollected at 
the moment that he had left it in the pocket of the steward's striped- 
jacket, which had been lent to him to go on shore at Gravesend. He 
knew not the name of the steward, nor did he know the name of the 
vessel to which he belonged, but then — which was certainly the next 
best thing — he knew the name of the wliarf from which she started. 
He, therefore, at once made up his mind to go down to that particular 
wharf the next morning, with a view to the recovery of the card, and 
proceeded to join his fair landlady's party in the parlour. 

Now, of all the speculations whose fruits have a tendency to confer 
immortal honour upon the learned, tliere is probably not one so directly, 
so eminently calculated to send a man down to posterity, as that which 
has reference to the origin of personal names. That there are so many 
Smiths, may be easily accounted for, seeing that there are so many 
Smiths — ^namely, white Smiths, black Smiths, silver Smiths, gold Smiths, 
lock Smiths, coach Smiths, guu Smiths, and soon, whose descendants have 
assumed the pure name, altiiough clearly the son of the first Mr. Smith 
should liave called himself Smitlison ; the son of Mr. Smithson, Smith- 
sonson; and the son of Mr. Smithsonson, Smithsonsonson; or, for short- 
ness, Smithsonsonsgrandson. This, however, might have been very 
fairly objected to, ou the ground that such a course, however proper, 
would, in a few generations, draw the names of the descendants of the 
original Smith to a somewhat inconvenient length. But how the 
thousands, nay, the millions of names whicli are to be met with in 
civilized society, were originally got hold of by our ancestors respec- 
tively, is a question which opens a very wide field for antiquarian re- 
search, — a field whose cultivation would doubtless confer upon man- 
kind, in the aggregate, benefits incalcubbie. They who might enter 



VALENTINE VOX. 147 

this glorious field might meet with a few proper names of a very queer 
character; they might, indeed, he for a time, in some slight degree, 
gloriously puzzled ; hut there could he no douht of their eventual suc- 
cess if they holdly and resolutely proceeded upon the just and eternal 
principle, that every effect must have a cause. 

This profound vein of reflection has heen opened hy the fact that 
Valentine's landlady possessed the name of Smugman. That she got it 
from her late lamented hushand is manifest, hut how did the original 
Smugman ohtain it ? The solution of this mystery is not, however, 
absolutely essential to the progress of these adventures, and therefore it 
may as well at once be observed, that Mrs. Smugman had been lan- 
guishing in a weary state of widowhood for nearly twelve months, and 
that, however ardently she might have loved the name of Smugman at 
one time, she then had an equally ardent desire to change it. Her 
husband had been in the navy, and from the Admiralty, she received, 
in consequence, seventy pounds per annum, to which, in conformity 
with the general practice, she was entitled so long, but only so long as 
she remained a wndow — a practice whose tendency is far more immoral 
than the wise men by whom it was established, conceived ; for, as the 
annuitants cannot legally marry without sacrificing their respective 
annuities, the temptation to marry illegally is sometimes too strong 
to be resisted by those who do not in reality prize virtue as it ought to 
be prized, above all other sublunary blessings. 

That such considerations, however, entered not into the head of Mrs. 
Smugman, all are bound to believe, for, independently of her being 
strictly virtuous, she had her eye upon two most respectable bachelors — 
namely, Mr. Foxglove, a quiet bank clerk, and Mr. Crankey, a money- 
making grocer, the latter of whom she did rcuher prefer, but in conse- 
quence solely of his wealth being calculated to cause the match on her 
part to obtain the direct sanction of prudence. 

The gentleman upon whom this preference was bestowed was a 
sour-looking, porcupine-headed person, whose smiles were so forced, 
that they gave pain to all who beheld them, yet the widow was con- 
versing with him very affectionately when Valentine entered the room. 
A vanety of greetings and fussy introductions to the ladies and gentle- 
men, who were engaged in the purely commercial game of speculation, 
were immediately consequent on his entrSey for the fair widow really 
felt honoured by his presence, and scarcely knew how to lionize him 
enough. 

It soon became manifest, however, to Valentine, that Crankey by no 
means approved of these attentions ; that he looked dark and dreadful, 
and scowled very furiously, both at the widow and at him ; and as he 
subsequently made himself particularly disagreeable, indulging occa- 
sionally in certain very pointed insinuations having reference to the 
impropriety of such attentions to* young men in general, Valentine re- 
solved on punishing Mr. Crankey for his bear-like behaviour. 

^* What a sour old crab, to be sure," said he, making his voice ap- 
parently proceed from the speculation table. ^^ I can't say I admire 
the taste of Mrs. Smugman." 



148 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

'* Indeed 1" muttered Crankey, knitting hie black bushy brows, and 
looking round the table in question, with the view of ascertaining who 
it was that had spoken. ^' My presence," he added, addressing Mrs. 
Smugman, ** doesn't appear to be very agreeable to some of your 
jfriendsl" 

*' Oh nonsense !'^ observed Mrs. Smugman. ^^ It's nothing but a 
silly remark. There's no meaning in it : nonsense !* 

" You should not invite persons to meet «m, Mrs. Smugman, who 
are capable of making silly remarks with no meaning in them." 

The widow bit her lips, but said nothing. Mn Cnmkey however was 
by no means disposed to be silent, for he enlarged rather eloquently 
upon the fact of his not having come there that evening to be insulted. 

^* Did you ever !" cried Yalentine, throwing his voice in the same 
direction. ^^ The fellow's a bear !" 

^' Gentlemen," said the widow, approaching the table as a burst of 
surprise had been induced, by the fact of a la[dy having turned up the 
ace after selling the king for five-pence-halfpenny, '' I really must beg 
of you not to mdulgo in unpleasant observations.'^ 

The whole of the speculators stared at the widow, with an expres- 
sion of amazement. " You must rememb(n:, " continued that lady, 
^^ that Mr. Crankey is my friend, as you are all my friends, and I should 
not like to hear an unpleasant observation applied to any one of you." 

" Mr. Crankey, I'm sure, must be mistdcen," observed one of the 
gentlemen at the table. ^* I have heard no such observation made.'' 

^^ But I have !" growled Crankey. 

^* Well, all I can say is that / have heard nothing of the sort," re- 
turned the gentleman. 

^^ Nor have I," cried the whole of the speculators in a breath, which 
was literally the fact, for they had all been too busy turning up pre- 
maturely and estimating the value of the best card turned in proportion 
to the wealth of the pool, to pay attention to any thing else. 

Mr. Crankey was not satisfied ; but the speculators were, that Mr. 
Crankey had been mistaken, and tke meny game proceeded. 

Yalentine had by this time understood the precise terms upon which 
Mr. Crankey and the widow were, and very naturally felt that the 
sooner such a match were completelv broken off, the better it would bo 
for the lady ; and although he clearly recognised the right of that lady 
to choose and to judge for herself, he resolved that she should become 
that evening acquainted with Mr. Crankey's disposition, of which she 
really appeared to be totally ignorant. 

^' Come," said the widow, after a very awful pause, during which 
Crankey looked as black as a thunder-doud just on the point of burst- 
ing ; '^ what say you to a rubber ?" 

^^ Any thing you like, ma'am," said Crankey, ^' I am ready for any 
thing r and he hurled at the speculation table a dark look of defiance. 

" Well, come, you'll cut in, will you not ?" observed the widow, ad- 
dressing Yalentine, whom she honoured with one of her sweetest smiles, 
which appeared to make Crankey's blood boil. 

Yalentine expressed his willingness to join them, and when they had 



VALENTINE VOX. 149 

cut, lie had Crankey for a partner, and their opponents were Wright- 
man and Foxglove, who really were very quiet gentlemanly men. 

By the desperate character of his play, it very soon became manifest 
that Crankey^s whole soul was in arms, and he devoted so much attention 
to the noise which proceeded from the speculation table— applying al- 
most every observation to himself — that in playing the very first hand 
he revoked. The fact was duly noticed by Mr. Foxglove, who at once 
enforced the penalty. 

*' Then you mean to play the itriet game V said Grankey, with much 
earnestness. 

*' Of course, my dear Sir, we play the game I* 

^' Very well. As you please. It makes no odds to me : not a bit," 
said Mr. Grankey, shuffling the cards with unequivocal desperation. 
" Now Sir !— Its my deal.*' 

" Oh, he can't play !" whispered Valentine, throwing his voice be- 
hind Mr. Grankey as he dealt. Mr. Grankey looked round, and albeit 
he simply said, ^* Can't he 1" the consequence was a misdeal. 

*'*' Who the devil can deal cards or play, or do anything with such 
interruptions as these !** exclaimed Grankey. 

'* What interruptions ?" inquired Mr. Foxglove. 

^ Why these ungentlemanly observations, these whisperings and tit- 
terings while a man is dealing." 

^' I heard no observations, said Mr. Foxglove. 

** But I did. Sir ! — I am not deaf. Sir, if other people are !" 

*'^ I told you he couldnH play," cried Valentine, throwing his voice 
among the speculating people. 

Grankey rose and gnashed his teeth with considerable violence, and 
msped the back of his chair with great energy and firmness, and after 
having taken a comprehensive view of the speculating group, cried, 
^^ Indeed ! If be can't, he'll play you any day in the week for what you 
like. It makes no odds to me : from a crown to ten pound !" and he 
jingled what money he had in his pocket, with the view of imparting 
the conviction that he was a man of some considerable pecuniary 
substance. 

The entire party looked at Mr. Grankey with an expression of wonder, 
but as no one accepted the challenge, he hurled a look of contempt upon 
the speculators in the aggregate, and eventually resumed his seat. 

The game was then continued, but Mr. Grankey was so excited that 
he was unable to recollect a single card that had been played. His 
opponents were making almost eveiy trick, and the game looked par- 
ticularly desperate, when as Wrightman was considering which card he 
should next lead, Valentine made it appear that Mr. Foxglove softly 
whispered ^^ diamonds," which happened to be trumps, and accordingly 
Wrightman conceiving that liis partner had a hand which would carry 
aU before it — a diamond was led. 

^' Oh I that's it, is it V* cried Grankey sarcastically, throwing up his 
cards. ^^ I knew it was something of that. / thought we were play- 
ing the came !" 

" And so we are," said Mr. Foxglove, " are we not V* 



150 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP 

^' Do you call intimations, Sir, pla3ring the game V 

'• What do you mean?" said Mr. Foxglove. 

" Why this is what I mean, Sir, — ^that you had no right to tell your 
partner to lead trumps. Sir ! that's what I mean !" 

" / tell my partner to lead trumps ! — I deny it, Sbr, flatly deny it," 
and the denial was so palpably barefaced in the eyes of Mr. Crankey, 
that he was at the moment too utterly astounded to veply. 

*' You are making yourself very disagreeable," continued Mr. Fox- 
glove. ^^ I will not descend to argue the point, but in order to prove 
that I did not call for trumps, there are my cards. Sir, I have not a 
tingle trump in my hand," and the cards were duly placed upon the 
table. 

^'/ have all the trumps,'* said Valentine, exhibiting no less than seven, 
which would of necessity have carried the game ; but that game was 
of course claimed by Mr. Foxglove in consequence of Crankey having 
thrown up his hand. 

" You are satisfied, I hope," said Mr. Foxglove. ** I presume that 
you are satisfied. Come, if we are to play the game, for Heaven's 
sake, Sir, let us play it pleasantly. I hate to have any dispute.'^ 

" And so do I, Sir ; but if I didn't hear it—" 

" You must have been mistaken," interrupted the widow, who began 
to be really ashamed of his conduct, and to recognise tlie justice of Mr. 
Foxglove 8 observations, very much to the satisfaction of that gentleman. 

"I tell you I heard diamonds called, Mrs. Snuigman !" cried Crankey, 
with a look which seemed to chill the widow s blood. '^ Isn't a man 
to believe his own ears V 

Then it must have been mentioned at the speculation table." 
I don't know where it was mentioned, ma'am, nor do I care ; I only 
know it lecu mentioned, and that's enough for me." 

" Well," said Valentine, " shall we have another game ?" 

" Oh, with all my heart !" said Mr. Foxglove. 

" Well see them once more, Mr. Crankey ?" said Valentine, and as 
that gentleman doggedly consented, the cards were again dealt. 

Mr. Crankey maae the first three tricks, but just as he was about to 
lead ofi^ for the fourth, Valentine throwing his voice immediately behind 
him, whispered ^Miearts." 

" I'm obliged to you ; but I play my own game. I want no advice, 
no instruction," said Crankey, turning rouud with a most unamiable 
scowl, of course expecting to find some gentleman at his elbow, but 
as he could see no one standing on the right, he twirled round to the 
left, and as he couldn't find any one near him at all, he led spades in 
the spirit of opposition. His hand happened to be a good one ; and as 
it enabled him to score seven points, he took a deep sip of brandy and 
water, with a huge pinch of snuff as an obligate accompaniment, and 
began in reality to feel a little better. 

'^ I wish to goodness he would go," said Valentine, assuming the 
voice of a female. 

'' Do you ?" cried Crankey, inspiring at that moment a fresh stock 
of indignation. ^' If you do, madam, wTiy I shall stop all the longer!" 






VALENTINE VOX. 151 

and he bonoored the speculators indiscriminately with a purely sardonic 
smile, and waved his hand very gracefully, and bowed with great 
politeness, and then, with a look of supreme contempt, turned round to 
examine his cards. 

" What a comical wretch !*' said Valentine, assuming a totally dif- 
ferent voice. 

" A wretch Sir ! a comical wretch 1" cried Crankey, starting upon 
his \ega* ** What do you mean by a wretch ?" 

" For goodness sake what is the matter V cried the widow. 

'^ The matter, ma'am ? — this is the matter ! I did not come here to be 
insulted, ma'am, grossly insulted !*' 

*' Who has insulted you, — who, — who is it V* 

" Who is it, ma'am ? Why it's one of your friends, ma^aniy that's who 
it is I" 

" But which of them ?" 

" What do I care !" cried Crankey, and he turned from the widow 
and dropped upon his chair, with a force which most powerfully tested 
the stability of its bottom. 

Had young love himself been lingering in the heart of the widow, in 
order to advocate Crankey 's cause, at that moment his retreat would 
have been perfectly certain ; but as it was — as the widow preferred 
Mr. Crankey to Mr. Foxglove only in consequence of his being a little 
more wealthy, she simply acknowledged his politeness by a bow, and 
took no farther notice of the matter. 

" Wliat's trumps ?" cried Crankey. " If people think that Fm to 
be insulted, they're mistaken, — I can tell 'em — as mistaken as ever they 
were in their lives !" 

" Oh indeed !" said Valentine. 

*' Yes I indeed !" cried the victim, turning again to the speculation 
table ; '' why I could buy up the whole kit, if that's what you mean !" 

'' There's the knave to beat,'' said Valentine in his natural voice. 

'^ I see there's the knave to beat," cried Crankey, dashing do¥m the 
queen with extraordinary force. 

" Well, well," said Valentine calmly, " don't be angry with me." 

'^ Who the devil, sir, can help being angry ? Curse me, if it ain't 
enough to turn the very sweetest disposition into verdegris. But / 
wont stand it ! They've got the wrong man — the wrong man, sir, I 
can teU 'em !" 

At this moment a burst of merriment proceeded from the specula- 
tion-table, and Mr. Crankey immediately started up again, and com- 
menced an active scrutiny, but as he found all, save one, laughing 
heartily at the hct of that one having given sevenpence-halfpenny for the 
queen, when he had both the ace and the king m his ovm hand, Mr. 
Crankey again resumed his seat, muttering something which sounded 
not much hke a blessing. 

" Your play, sir," observed Mr. Foxglove. 

'^ I know it !" cried Crankey, who could not then bear to be spoken 
to. 

'^ Hearts,*' whispered Valentine, assuming the voice of Mr. Foxglove, 



152 LIFB AND ABVENTURES OF 

and the ace of hearts was led by Mr. Foxglove's partner ; which Crankey 
no sooner perceived, than he started up again, dashed the cards very 
violently upon the table, and, having hurled upon those around him 
a withering look of scorn, placed his arms most majestically beaeath his 
coat tails, and bounced out of the room. 

His departure was hailed with satisfaction by all ; and the remainder 
of the evening was spent most agreeably. The speculators played until 
twelve, then nad supper, and then sang some very sweet songs ; and 
Mr. Foxglove, who was really a very decent fellow, had that night the 
high satisfaction of hearing the amiable widow acknowledge that he was 
the absolute master of her heart. 



CHAPTER XX. 

CONTAINS A BIRD'S-ETB VIEW OF GOODMAN's TJNENTIABLB POSITION. 

Although it may be very profoundly contended, that use is second 
nature, and that afflictions, however poignant, lose their virtue in time ; 
— although theorists, in illustration, may bring forth the fact of a man 
having l^en sentenced to sleep upon spikes so long that, when com- 
pulsion had ceased, he still stuck to his spikes when ne wanted to sleep, 
as a matter of comfort ; — ^it seems to be abundantly clear that there are 
certain states of existence which, however much used to them men may 
become, shut out all prospect of reconciliation. 

Goodman was an universal-happiness man. He delighted in con- 
tending that happiness was equally diffused ; but from the moment of 
his incarceration in Dr. Holdem's den, his views on that subject had 
gradually changed. It may appear at first sight extraordinary that a 
man of fixed principles like Goodman should have been so inconsistent; 
but lest his inconsistency should be deemed reprehensible, it will be 
perfectly proper to describe the exact process by which the change in 
his opinions on this matter had been wrought. 

It was about eight o'clock on the morning after the seizure, that a 
fellow unlocking uie door of the cell in which Goodman had spent a 
most horrible night, shouted, ^^ Now then I up with you I d*ye hear ?" 

Goodman, at the moment, involuntarily shrank from the scowl of 
this ruffian. He however soon recovered his self-possession, and at~ 
tempted to rise, but found every limb so stiff and sore, that he sank 
back groaning with agony. 

*' Now then ! Come, none of that rubbish \ It wont do hereT 

** "HLj good man,'' said Goodman, *' pray, pray don't be harsh. I am 
too ill,— I really am too ill to rise." 

*' Well see about that ;" cried the ruffian, catching hold of the edge 
of the mattrass, and with a sudden jerk flinging poor Goodman upon 



TAU2NTIMB VOX. 153 

.the floor, y Come, tumble up with you ! I'm not going to stay here 
aU day !" 

Qoodman made another desperate effort to rise ; but the pain which 
accompanied that effort, at once caused him again to sink back. 

*^ Oh ! I*m not going to stand all this here, you know !" shouted the 
fellow, as he seized him by the throat and dragged him up. 

*' If I am to be murdered," cried Goodman, ^' be merciful ; kQl me 
at once ; — don't I pray don't torture me thus !" 

'^ Do what !" cried the ruffian, clenching his flst, and grinding his 
huge teeth desperately ; ^' Give me any more of it — eay another word, 
ana 1*11 show you what's what in about half a minute/' 

Goodman, finding that he was completely in the ruffian's power, was 
silent ; and having managed, in a state more dead than alive, to draw on 
his clothes, was dragged into a room in which a number of persons 
were sitting at breakfast. 

As he entered, a chorus of sighs burst at once from the group, and 
they gazed upon his countenance with an expression of sorrow. A 
person of gentlemanly exterior rose, placed a chair for him at the table, 
and then sat beside him, and having pressed him with much delicacy to 
partake of the refreshment provided, which consisted of lumps of bread 
and butter and weak tea, he endeavoured to cheer him, and did at 
length succeed in making him feel that he should have at least one con- 
solation, namely, that of his society. 

'^ Now then ! — come into the garden !" shouted a fellow, when the 
lumps of bread and butter had vanished ; and the patients — ^as they were 
called, but the prisoners as they were — rose, and walked away mourn- 
fully : Goodman alone lingered. 

*^ Now then ! are you going ?" cried the ruffian. 

*' I'm really too ill," said Goodman faintly, '* to walk." 

" Oh, rubbish I-^Be off !— Now then, start!" 

** 1 wish to write a letter !" 

^' Be off into the garden, I tell you ! Do you hear what I say ?" 

** Yes, yes ! — but— can I see the proprietor ?" 

^^ Don't bother me ! — Come, start ! — there, that's all about it i" 

On his way to the garden he met Dr. Holdem, whom he ventured to 
address. 

*^ 1 know nothing," said he, ^^ of your regulations ; but, pray do 
not suffer your servants to treat me so brutally !" 

^* Brutally T cried the doctor ; '* My servants treat you brutally ! — 
pooh, pooh ! its all your delusion !" 

No, sir !" said Goodman emphatically ; '* it is not a delusion. I 



tc 



am, air,"— 



^* HuUo ! hullo I none of your insolence !*' interrupted Dr. Holdem, 
— ** Be off!" — And one of his myrmidons seized him by the collar and 
dragged him away. 

On reaching the place which was dignified with the appellation of 
a garden, in which there were about a dozen withering plants, poor 
Goodman was joined by Mr. Whitely, the gentleman who at breikk&st 
had so kindly addressed him. From him he learned the raka of this 



154 LIFE AND ADTEMTtm&S OF 

drandfol plftce; and r«cdlved advioe with reference to the mode in which 
he might escape much ill-treatment. He advised him to make no com* 
plaint-i-to hear whatever indignities might he heaped upon him in 
silence, and to hope for the means of eventually escaping/' 

" Escaping I" cried Goodman, " why, can I not write to my friends ?*' 

" No, that is not allowed." 

*' Not allowed ?— -you have visiting magistrates f' 

'^ The commissioners visit ns occasioniUly. They are compelled to 
come four times a-year, hut that is frequently at intervals of five or six 
months." 

*' TVell, when they do come, and I appeal to them, they will, of 
course, see that I am not mad ?'' 

^^ Ah ! that was my impression. There was my hope ; hut the first 
time they came, the keeper gave me a certain drug, and then goaded me 
into a state of excitement, which, when I was examined, made me ap- 
peaar to he insane, and that impression has never heen removed. '^ 

^' God hless me !" said Goodman ; ^^ hut there are stnM insane 
persons in this wretched place?" 

•* There are some ; but very, very few," replied Mr. "Whitely. 

" That is one, I presume V said Goodman, pointing to a melancholy 
creature, who was handcuffed and chained to a log. 

^* He is no more insane, sir, than I am," said Whitely ; '' but having, 
about twelve months ago, made an effort to escape, he has been hand* 
cuffed and chained day and night ever since." 

At this moment one of the keepers approached, and with a sincle 
blow, knocked down a man for throwing a stone over the wall. The 
poor fellow took no notice of this outrage, but rose to avoid being 
kicked, and walked away. 

^' What a monstrous proceeding !" cried Goodman indignantly. 

" Nothing,** said Whitely, '* is too monstrouB to be perpetrated here. 
But silence ! — ^he's coming this way." 

'' So you*U go and tell the doctor you*re ill-used, will yon ?" cried 
the ruffian — with whom the doctor had expostulated, fearing that as 
Goodman was exceedingly weak, too much cruelty would deprive him 
of life, and thereby deprive the establishment of a certain suiii per 
annum.—" You'll tell him I hurt you again-->eh ? — will you V he dotf* 
tinned, grasping Goodman by the throat, and shakine him with vio- 
lence— "I treat you brutally do I? — ^Brutally! — ^brutaUy !— brutally !** 

At each repetition of the word] " brutally" he kicked him with all 
the force at his command, and then left him to fall upon the ground in 
a state of exhaustion. 

While this atrocious outrage was being committed, many of the in*- 
mates came to the spot. Whitely's blood boiled, but he dared not in- 
terfere ; and several of the other sane victims felt equally indignant but 
equally powerless. A religious enthuaiast looked up to Heaven as he 
pointed to the ruffian's brutal exerd^ of his power, while two poor 
idiots dangled their hands, and appeared to be utterly lost in amaase'- 
ment. 

The moMent tho feUo w had left the spot, shouting, ^ There ! now 



teU ihe dooior flffidii !" Mr. Wbitely lifted Goodman from the ground, 
and endmiFOUfed to oonsole him. He begged of him not to mention 
Ite oocnrienoe to Dr. Holdem, as the ru£Gian would be certain to have 
his revenge, and laboured to impreds upon his mind the inutility oa 
well as the danger of complaining. Goodman sobbed bitterlj, and big 
aoaidii^ tears oliased each other down his cheeks as he acknowledged the 
kindness of his friend. 

At one o'clock they were all ordered in to partake of a miserable 
dinner, and immediately afterwards turned again into the yard. At 
five, being tea-time^ the same degrading ceremonies were performed ; 
and at eight they were all locked up for the night. There was the 
same round of wretchedness, day after day, without the sUgiitest em«< 
ployment or amusement of any descriptioo. Not a letter could be 
written : not a book could be procured : nothing calculated to mitigate 
their misery for a single moment was permitted, from the time they 
rose in the morning till they were driven, like cattle, into their cells, 
there to linger for twelve weary hours in darkness, torturing their minds 
by lefleeting on the monstrous inhumanity of those to whom nature 
Ittd piomptod them to look for affection. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE BC^UAUIIOHTITBS MIGHTY DEMONSTRATION. 

Why are not all men socially equal ? Are they not bom with equal 
lights? Have they not 6[ming from one common parent, and have 
they not, therefoiB, a right to share equally every comfort the world 
can afford ? If natore l^rself be perfection, does it not follow that that 
which is not in accordance with nature must be in proportion imperfect ? 
IIThy, of couBse ! And hence, as a state of civilization is diametrically 
oppoeed to a state of nature, civilization is palpably the most imperfect 
scheme that ever afflicted the world. Nature prescribes no social in- 
equality ! — ^yet some men are wealthy, while others are poor ; and those 
who toil z^dously, day by day, are absolutely, in a social point of 
view, worse off than those who are not forced to labour at all I 

With a view to the correction of this monstrous state of things, an 
appropriately organised body of patriots had a mighty demonstration on 
Clerkenwell-gieen, the very day on which Valentine learnt with much 
pain that, by some young gentleman — acting upon the same eternal 
principle of equal right — me steward's striped jacket had been stolen. 

As he strolled towards the place which had once been an actual Green, 
doubtless, but which was a Green only nominally then, he was not in 
the happiest spirits ; for although he had previously thought little of 
ihe card, or of the lady whose name that csad bore, he now began iq be 
unspeakably aiuious about the one, and to feel himself desperately ii^ 



156 LXFB AND ADrmsrVKEB OF 

love with the other. On perceiving, however, the mighhr masses asseni' 
bled, he forgot for the moment both, and pushed through the crowd to* 
wards a waggon which had been drawn to the spot by an animal, looking 
about the nbs really wretched, but still, as he then had his noee^bag on, he 
kept nodding his perfect approbation of the arrangements, as £ur as they 
went. In tbe waggon— or to write with more propriety — ^npon the 
hustings, stood a dense mass of patriots, sweating with indignation, and 
panting to inspire the mighty masses with a perfect appreciation of the 
blessings which would, of necessity, flow from a system of social 
equality : nay, so intense was the anxiety of the patriots present to ad- 
vocate boldly their dear country's cause, that when the waggon was full 
of them, literally crammed, many very patriotically hung on behind, 
which clearly proved to the sovereign people, that there was absolutely 
nothing which those patriots would not endure, to earrv out thai 
essentially glorious down-with-every-thing-no-nothing prmciple, of 
which they professed to be so ardently enamoured. 

When the time had arrived for the commencement of the highly im- 
portant proceedings of the day, it was most inconsistently felt by some 
of the leaders, that they ought to have a chairman ; but an eminent 
patriot no sooner stepped forward for the purpose of nominating a highly 
distinguished Flamer, than certain whole-hog-equal-rightites contended 
that ail of them possessed an equal right to be in the chur ; and that 
therefore no one had a right to be placed above another. This was 
clearly very appropriate, and very consistent with the eternal equal- 
rightite principle ; but as it was suggested that they might, without 
compromising that principle, so far yield to the grc^sly corrupt pre- 
scriptions of civilization, the mighty masses at once recognized the 
Flamer as their president, and hailed him, as he pulled off his hat 
to address them, with three very vehement cheers. 

^* My Fellow Countrymen !" said he, conceiving doubtless that to 
address them as *^ Qentlemen*' would be rather too ifiuch of a joke to 
tell well — *• This indeed is a glorious sight ! When I behold the sove- 
reign people pouring down like a mighty torrent which sweeps all 
before it, and which nothing can stem — when I behold the glorious 
masses with agony groaning beneath the iron hoof of oligarchical tyranny 
and crushed to the very earth by a monstrous accumulation of bittw 
wrongs — when I behold you, my countrjrmen, rushing here to burst 
your d^rading chains asunder, and to shout with one universal voice 
— * We will be pree !' — ^my heart throbs with delight, my eyes 
sparkle with gladness, my soul seems inspired, and my bosom swells 
with joy {tmrneme cheering /] What are you, my countrymen— what 
are you ? — Slawt ! base abject spiritless Slaves I — Slaves, in the eyes 
of the world, of the vilest description : Slaves, with the power to be 
free ! Arise ! — Shake off that apathy which acts upon your energies 
like an incubus. Down with the tyrants by whom you are oppressed. 
Arm ! —arm to the very teeth [vehement applawe /] Follow the glorious 
example of your brave fellow countrymen in the North ! Join them 
in the Holy Month. Strike I — and run for gold ! Convert all your 
notes into specie ! — let that be the first grand step towards the univ^isal 



VAtiCNTfn TOX. 157 

fmtym&m 1 Be lesolute ! Be finn I Act like men who know thor 
rights and will maintain them ! The hour is at hand ! Hurl the base 
t3nants into nniTersal chaos !*' — 

^*We will! We will!'' cried the mighty masses holding up and 
brandishing a forest of knives which glittered picturesquely in the sun. 

Valentine no sooner saw this display than he drew out Am knife — the 
blade of which was full an inch and a half lone— with a view to liis own 
safety, by making it appear to those around that he was ready to go 
the whole hog, and feeling that he was bound as a loyal subject to put 
an end to these proceedings if possible at once, shouted ^^ Soldiers ! 
sokUeiB !* thro¥ring his yoice just behind the chairman — and tlie 
mighty masses buned thor knives in their breeches' pockets, and 
kK&ed round eagerly for the appearance of the troops. 

** The soldiers !" cried the chairman, having satisfied himself that 
none were near. ^ The soldiers are our friends I And if even they 
were not, why — why need we care for the soldiers ? But I know that 
they are ready to join us to a man ! Let but the Holy Month — " 

'* The Holy what ?" cried Valentine. 

The Chairman contemptuously turned to the quarter from which the 
voice appeared to proceed, but scorning the ignorant character of the 
question, disdained to make any reply. ^*I say let but the Holy 
Month^*' he continued, ^^ be commencdL, and you will see the soldiers'' — 

^' Mowing you down like grass !" cried Valentine. 

^ No, no !" ^* Let them tiy it on !*' shouted the mighty masses, again 
brandishing their clasp knives and yelling like furies. 

** We have, my fellow'-countr3rmen, traitors in the camp T' cried the 
chairman. '^ We are surrounded by spies from the Treasury ; but let 
the degraded hirelings go back to the tyrants whom they serve, and tell 
them from us, that we not only bid them defiance, but hold them in 
sovereign contempt I" 

This burst of courageous indignation was followed by three dreadful 
groans for the spies ; and when the Treasury tyrants, by whom they 
were employed, had been similarly honoured, the chairman introduced a 
Mr. Coweel for the purpose of proposing the first resolution. 

^ Feller'kuntrjrmen ! I'm a hopperative !" shouted Mr. Coweel who 
was a powerful man, but very dirty ; '^ I'm for down with all taxes, all 
pensions, all sinnycures, and all other speeches o£f rotten corruption. — 
I'm halbo for down with the church I Why should we have a holly- 
garkle harmy of fat bishops ? Why should we pay 'em a matter o' 
nineteen million o' money a-year to support their kids and konkybines 
—eh ? What is the good on 'em ? Why, I'd—" 

^^ Down ! down 1" cried Valentine, assumiug the chairman's voice. 

^* What d'yar mean by down ?" said Mr. Coweel to the chairman. 

The chairman bowed to Mr. Coweel, and assured him that he had 
not spoken. 

^ Well, I thought," said Mr. Coweel, " the hobserwation was 
rayther too hunconstitutional for you ; but as I was a sayin, the holly- 
garkle Bishops—" 

" Get down, you fool l" cried Valentine, throwing his voice behind 
the speaker. 



158 LIFE 4N0 ADTENTUBES OF 

^^ What d'yar mean V* cried Mr. Coweel, ^^ Tli down with you in 
just about no time, my cove, if yer any ways nasty. Wliat { dyer 
tliink I care for you ? PV'aps you'd like to take it out on me, 'cos if 
yer would, yer know, why ony say so, that's hall f and Mr. Coweel 
looked dag^rs at every patriot whom he at that moment caught in Um 
act of smilm^, and having signified his ability to ^' lick iBeveuty dozen 
on 'em, jiet like a sack, one down the tother come on," he rciunied, at 
the suggestion of the patriotic chairman, to the Episcopal business he 
wishedto explain. ^' Well !" said he, again addressing the mighty 
masses, ^^ I'm for down with all hunconstitutional — " 

" Silence, you idiot I 111 kick you out of the waggon !*' shonted 
Valentine with all the power of which he was capable. 

" What I" cried Mr. Coweel, turning round with due pronptitude-^ 
^^ What'U yer do ? — kick me out o' the waggon ? How many on yer, 
eh 1 I should werry much like to give you a quilting any how !--^kiok 
me out ! — try it on I — kick me out o' the waggon !" 

At this interesting moment a patriot, who was panting to address 
the sovereign people, and who was standing about six feet from Mr. 
Coweel, hiM the temerity, in the plenitude of his impatience, to cry, 
** Either go on, or cut it !" 

** Oh ho I" exclaimed Mr. Coweel, ^^ I've found you out, have I, 
my tulip ? It's you that'll kick me out o' the waggon then, is it ?^ 
and Mr. Coweel aimed a blow at the tulip, but missed him by about 
two feet and a half. This miss did not, by any means, impart satisfac- 
tion to Mr. Coweel. He was anxious to hit conviction into the mind 
of the tulip that he was not the sort of man to be kicked out of a 
waggon. He, therefore, struck out again very fonsibly and freely, but 
every blow aimed, fell more or lees short. This seemed to enrage him. 
He looked very fierce. His elbows were sharp, and he used them : he 
dug them with so much decision and point, and, moreover, to such an 
exttaordinary depth into the backs and the stomachs of those who 
stood near him, that really his struggles to get at the tulip became so 
particularly unpleasant to the patriots who were standing in his imme- 
diate vicinity, that, feeling it to be a duty incumbent upon them — a 
duty which they owed, not only to tliemselves as individuals, but to 
society at large-— they pinioned his arms, caught hold of his legs, and 
pitched him among the mighty masses below. 

A loud shout bur»t from the sovereign people ! — a shout which was 
echoed by Hicks's Hall, and reverberated clean through the House of 
Correction. The masses, albeit they clearly perceived that the prin- 
ciple upon which Coweel had been pitched from the waggon was that 
of purely physical force, could not at the moment precisely compre- 
hend the great fundamental principle upon which that physical fbrce 
had been developed. They fancied at first that he was one of the 
spies ; but when he mounted the nave of the near hind- wheel, and — 
after having dealt out his blows with really desperate energy, and that 
with .the most absolute indiscriraination-^-addressed the mighty masses 
as Britons and as men, denouncing this unconstitutional act of tjrranny, 
and calling upon them, as they valu^ their liberties^ to aid him in 



VALBKTINB TOX. 159 

turning the waggon upside down — ^they held him to be' a man who 
simply sought the redress of wrongs, and hence felt themselves bound, 
by every just and eternal principle by which their souls were guided, to 
assist him in pitching the rehide over. 

Just, however, as those who were nearest to the hustings were pro- 
ceeding with due promptitude to carry this design into actual execution, 
a loud and warlike shout of ^^ The Pbelers ! The Peelers 1'' burst 
upon their patriotic ears, and induced them to defer their labour of loTe; 
while mighty sections of the sovereign people rushed with due mag- 
nanimity from the scene, rolling over those masses who had fallen before 
them, and forming themselves, in turn, stumbling blocks to those of 
whom ihey had courageously taken the precedence. 

" The Peders !" thought Valentine — " the Peelers !" — what manner 
of men are the Peelers^ that their presence should generate so much alarm 
in the minds of the Sovereign People ? 

His conjectures, however, having reference to the probability of 
their being either hideous monsters, or gigantic fiends, were very speedily 
put an end to by the approach of six policemen, who marched with due 
solemnity of step towards the hustings ; and as they approached, those 
sections of the mighty masses who still kept their ground, were as quiet 
as lambs. 

It at once became abundantly manifest, that those six Peelers had 
arrived with some object in view ; and before the Sovereign People had 
time even to guess what that object might be, one of the Peelers very 
coolly deprived the horse of his nose-bag ; another just as coolly re- 
turned the bit to his mouth ; and a third, with equal coolness, got hold 
of the reins, when a fourth, who was certainly not quite so cool, did, 
by virtue of the application of a short round truncheon, persuade the 
paseive animal to move on. 

At starting, the horse had so tremendous a load that, in order to draw 
it all, he was compelled to put out all the physical force he had in him ; 
but the patriots displayed so much alacrity in leaping out among the 
Sovereign People, who were roaring with laughter, that before, long 
before it had reached Mutton-hill, the mighty masses beheld the vehicle 
perfectly empty. 

Valentine was lost in admiration of the tact, and tranquillity of spirit 
displayed by the Peelers- It is true they met with no opposition ; — it 
is true that they had only to lead the horse off to compel the patriots 
either to leap out of the waggon, or to have a ride pratis to the Green- 
yard ; but the cool, the dispassionate, the business-like manner in which 
they conducted the whole thing, struck Valentine as being admirable in 
the extreme. 

The vehicle, on reaching Mutton-hill, was lost to view ; and as Va- 
lentine turned to ascertain what the mighty masses contemplated next, 
he met the full gaxe of a person who looked like a decent master black- 
smith, and who, addressing him, said, '^ Are you an Equalrightite V 

^^ I certainly profess to have at least an equal right,' replied Valentine, 
^' to ask yon that question." 

^' You have a knife about your person, have you not V 



100 LIFB AND ADTBNTUBB8 OF TALBNTINB TOX. 

« I have," said Valentine, " What then T 

^^ You had it open in the crowd near the hustings." 

" Well ! and what is that to y<yu ?*' 

The individual, who was a Peeler incog.^ at once beckoned to his un- 
disguised comrades, who came to the spot, collared Valentine firmly, 
and proceeded to drag him away. 

The mighty masses had their eyes upon those peelers, whom they 
viewed as their natural enemies. They had previously suspected that 
they were anxious to capture some one, and as there were but two of 
them then, they felt, of course, bound by every principle they pro- 
fessed, to oppose with firmness whatever tyrannical movement they 
might make. When, therefore, they saw in the seizure of Valentine 
the liberty of the subject contemned, they raised a shout of indignation 
and rushed boldly to the rescue. The Peelers saw in a moment — ^and 
it really is astonishing how quickly those fellows do see — ^that the so- 
vereign people meant something. They, therefore, pulled out their 
truncheons and grasped the collar of Valentine with more firmness still ; 
but in spite of these palpable signs of determination, the mighty masses 
rushed like a torrent upon them and tried to persuade them, by 
knocking them down, to relinquish their tyrannous hold. The Peelers 
were firm. Althougli down, they held on. They were resolute men, 
and would not be defeated. They applied their short truncheons, with 
consummate force, to the ankles and shins of the sovereign people, and 
that too, with so much ^ffect^ that they again rose up like giants re- 
freshed, with Valentine still in their grasp. The mighty masses once 
more rushed upon them, and the Peelers once more shook them o£f by 
the prompt application of their tyrannous truncheons to the sacred hats 
of the sovereign people, and to the sacred heads of those whose hats 
were at their Uncle's. It was in vain that Valentine begged of them to 
desist. They wouldn't hear of it ! No ! — they returned to the charge, 
caught hold of his legs, and felt victory sure ! 

^^ Let go !" — shouted Valentine indignantly. ^* You (UieSy let go I" 
which however ungrateful, was perfectly natural under the circum- 
stances » seeing that between the sovereign people and the Peelers, he 
was really bemg torn limb from limb. 

The mighty masses were however too i^ear the consummation of 
their hopes to attend to this burst of ingratitude. They wanted him 
away, and would have him ! — if it were only to defeat their natural 
enemies. They therefore gave another loud ** Hurrah 1" — and in a 
moment — ^in the twinkling of an eye ! — when Valentine thought that 
his arms and legs were all off together — they got him away uom the 
Peelers ! 

A loud shout of triumph rent the air as they held up their trophy 
aloft ; and having given three cheers for the sovereign people, and three 
goigonian groans for the Peelers, they converted their high and mighty 
shoulders into a species of triumphal car, upon which they paraded him 
round the scene of action until tliey were ready to drop; when he broke 
away from them, jumped into a coach, and happily made his escape. 



# 




.-/<.:..,■ /„.„,, 



161 



CHAPTER XXII. 

IN WHICH HORACE SETS TO WITH THE GHOST OF GOODMAN, AND 

WALTER BURNS THE SPECTRE OUT. 

^^ Come, come ! I say, goyeraor ! come !" exclaimed Horace, about 
the middle of the third night of his sitting up with his venerable father, 
whose delirium continued to be active and strong ; " this' tvont do, 
you know — flesh and blood can't stand it." 

^* Hush," cried Walter, raising his hand as he fixed his. glazed eyes 
on vacancy; " there !" he continued in a thrilling whisper — " there! — 
there again ! Turn him out ! turn him out !" 

There are times at which even the most thoughtless, the most reck- 
less are struck with a feeling of awe ; when the blood seems to chill, 
and the heart seems to faint, and all physical power appears to be gone 
— when the soul is startled, and the cheeks are blanched, and each 
function appears to be under the influence of some indescribable para- 
lyans. Oh ! it is, questionless, on^ of the most strikingly beautiful feelings 
of which human nature is susceptible, and this feeling crawled over' 
Horace, as he exclaimed, *^ Pooh I it toont fit, you know ! it's all out-and- 
out stufl:'' ' 

Unconscious of haying inspired this amiable sentiment, unconscious of 
the character of his a&ctionate son's reply, AValter grasped his arm 
firmly, and pointing to the spectre, cried '' Now ! get behind him ! there! 
seize him by the throat !" 

^* I say, I say, governor !" exclaimed Horace, shaking his parent with 
more force than, feeling, ^' can't I any how drive into your stupid head, 
that there's nobody here but ourselves ? Just listen to reason ; do you 
mean to tell me that you'll make me believe that you think that if he 
were really here I couldn't see him ? Is it likely ? Is it like anything 
likely ? Pooh ! rubbish, I tell you ! shut your eyes, there's a trump, 
and go to sleep." 

- " I will have him out !" cried Walter fiercely, " out ! out !" 
■ ** Well, well, then I'll turn him out ; come, if that's all," and Horace' 
opened the door, and addressing the apparition, said, *' Now, old boy ! 
just toddle ofl^, will you ? you're not wanted here ; come, cut it !" and 
he walked round the room, and lavished upon the apparition a series 
of kicks, which, in a spectral sense were extremely severe, and after 
grasping him firmly in imagination by the incorporeal collar, he gave 
him a spiritual impetus behmd, and dosed the door with an air of the 
most absolute triumph. 

His venerable father was not to be deceived, however, thus ; the 
pantomime of Horace was really very excellent — he managed the thing 
with consummate ability, nay, with ^* artistical " skill ; but the phantom 
was still in the mind's eye of Walter ; to him it appeared to have been 
untouched ! and therefore, when Horace returned to the bedside to 
receive that applause which the development of genius ought ever to 

Y 



162 LIFE AND ADTBNTURES OP 

ensure, he was utterly astonished to find, not only that his exertions had 
not heen appreciated, hut that Walter still glared at the spectre as 
hefore. 

" Come, I say, he's off now !" exclaimed Horace : " I've given him a 
little dose at all events, if I haven't broken his jolly old neck. He 
wont come back here in a hurry. I say ! didn't you see how he bolted ! 
I should think he's had enough of it for one night any how, eh ? 
shouldn't you ?" 

Walter took no notice of {these appropriate observations. He made 
no reply. He appeared not to know that a word had been uttered. 
His spiritual enemy was there ! and his eyes were still wildly fixed 
upon him. ^' I will have him out I" he exclaimed, after a pause, **he 
shall not be here." 

*^ He is not here," cried Horaoe, sdadne the arms of his fiithar ; '* I 
wish I could drive a little sense into your nead. I say, governor ! why, 
don't you know me ?" 

Wsdter turned his eyes for an instant, and then again elared at the 
spectre ; " 111 not have him here !" he cried, ^^ out he shall eo ! If 
you will not do it, I will," and he made another effort to nse, but 
Horace held him down ; he struggled, and Horace struggled with him, 
until he was struck with an idea Uiat the self-same power which caused 
him to imagine some one there, might cause him also to imagine that he 
had driven him away, when, in order to give him every possible chance, 
he very quietly relinquished his hold. 

Walter was no sooner free than he darted towards the space to which 
he had pointed, and made a really desperate effort to clutch the phantom, 
which, however, appeared to retreat, for he chased it round and round 
with great swiftness and zeal, untU he became so exhausted, that Horace 
lifted him again into bed, exclaiming, '^ Come, come, it's no sort of 
use ; you can t grab him !'* 

'^ But I will !" cried Walter, again struggling to rise. 
^* No, no ! m tackle him ! stay where you are. I must,*^ he con- 
tinued in an under tone, *^ swindle the old boy somehow," and he pulled 
off his coat, and threw himself at once into a gladiatorial attitude, and 
after having very scientifically squared at the apparition for some con- 
siderable time, he struck out with great force and precision, and con- 
tinued to strike right and left until he found that he had struck his arms 
pretty well out of their sockets^ when, precisely as if the enemy had 
been regularly vanquished, he put it to him whether he had had quite 
enough, and then, without farther ceremony, threw up the sash, and 
^' made believe " to pitch him out of the window. 

All this was, however, good energy thrown away ; for while he was 
labouring to inspire the j^ief that ne was breaking the neck of the 
spectre, that spectre, in Walter s imagination, was stul in the self-same 
position as before. Horace was ami^ed, when, on closing tiie window, 
he found his father staring as wildly as ever. ^' It's of no use," said he 
to himself, in despair, as he mixed another glass of wann brandy-and- 
water, and pulled out another cheroot ; '^ I may just as well drop it — 
lie's not to be done. Come, I say," he continued, addressiDg his father. 



VAL6NTINB VOX. 168 

*' it*8 all staff, you know I shut your eyes, and then he'll start ; he won't 
move a peg till you do." 

Walter now lay perfectly motionless. His last effort seemed to have 
exhausted him completely ; and as he continued to lie, without utter- 
ing a word, Horace fondly conceived that he should have an hour^s 
peace, and therefore threw himself back in the easy chair, and very soon 
became extremely interested in the report of a fight between Simon the 
Tough un and Konky Brown. 

Imow, those who have had the intense satisfiiction of sitting up with 
a delirious person all night will recollect, that between three and four in 
the morning, the mind reverts with peculiar pleasure to a cup of strong 
coffee and a muffin. If the patient then under your special protection be 
at that hour silent, the silence which reigns over the chamber is avrfhl, and 
nothing in nature, save coffise with a muffin, seems calculated either to 
occupy the mind or to arouse the dormant energies of the body. This 
hour — ^this dreary, solemn hour had arrived, when Horace, perceiving 
that his &thei^8 eyes were closed, stole softly from the chamber, and 
proceeded to the kitchen, where the coffee was on the hob, and the 
muffins were on the table, with every thing essential to a comfortable 
breakfiist. 

The very moment, however, Horace left the room, his &ther, who 
had cunningly watched every movement, and had only pretended to be 
asleep, leaj^ at once from the bed with the fall determination to turn 
out the phantom by which he had been haunted. He first tried to 
clutch it^then lost it for a time — ^then stared about wildly — ^then saw 
it again, and then chased it round the room, until he fancied that he 
had driven it beneath the bed, when he caught up the candle, set fire to 
the clothes, and in an instant the bed was in a blaze. 

^* Now !" he cried, '* Now will you go? Ha ! ha 1 ha ! ha ! I can't 
get you <mt / Ha ! ha! ha ! ha ! ha ! ha !" 

Horace heard the loud hysterical laneh and darted up stain in a mo- 
ment. Dense volumes of smoke issu^ forth as he burst in the door. 
He could not advance ! — ^the whole room was in flames. 

** Father V he cried, *' Father I fly to the door ! save youisdf 1 save 
yourself! Father!" 

The laughter was heard still ; but the next moment it died away smd 
Walter felL 

<< Fire ! fire ! fire V cried Horace, and his cries were immediately 
answered by screams from above. He rushed into the street, and there 
raised the alann, and the neighbourhood resounded with cries of ^^ fire ! 
firer 

The police were immediately on the spot ; and several labourers who 
were going to work came at once to their assistance, 

*^ My fiither ! My fathei^s in the room !" shouted Horace. ** For 
€k)d'8 sake save him— save my iather !'' and he darted up stairs with 
the view of rescuing his mother and his wife. His wife had fidnted, and 
his mother was too terror-stricken even to move. '^ Help ! help !" he 
shouted, ** Here I" and a Uboiirer rushed in a moment to his aid 



1€4 LIFE AND ADTENTURSS OF 

and seized the mother, as Horace caught his fainting wife in his anns^ 
when both were in safety borne into the street. 

The fire was now raging- fiercely. The flames were bursting forth in 
all directions. The rafters had caught, and the cracking was awful. 
'^ Who's in the house now ?" shouted one of the labourers. 
*^ My fiither ! my father !" cried Horace, returning. 
^' Where's the girl ? — where's the servant ?" demanded a policeman. 
^' Up stairs !*' replied Horace, by whom she had been forgotten, and 
away went the policeman ; but the girl could not be found. 

" Father ! father !" he again shouted, and at the moment a deep 
thrilling groan reached his ear. '^ To the door ! — ^to the door !*' 

Crash went the windows, and a stream of water poured into the room 
in which Walter was writhing in agony. No one could enter. Tliat 
room was one sheet of vivid fire, and the flames, as the water rushed in 
at the window, were driven with violence hissing towards the door. 

Another groan was heard. It appeared to proceed from a spot near 
the wainscot. Horace instantly tore down the bannister, with part of 
which he dashed in the panel. An angry stream of fire burst like 
lightning through the orifice, but there lay Walter ! 

^' He is here !" cried Horace, seizing him eagerly and dragging him 
into the passage. '' He is not dead ! Help !" 

Assistance was at hand ; and Walter was borne at once into the 
street ; but presented so frightful a spectacle, that a shutter was procured, 
upon which he was placed and carried to the house of the nearest surgeon. 
The engines now arrived from all quarters, and began to play gal- 
lantly upon the flames, which were bursting through the bricks, and 
streaming in liquid curls from every window. Horace, notwithstanding, 
rushed again into the house. His object was to secure his father's papers. 
He reached the room which contained them, and burst in the door ! — 
another step would have precipitated him at once into a gulf of 
hissing fire. The floor of the room had fallen in, and the flames were 
a8oen£ng in forked streams from below. The spectacle struck him with 
horror. He stood for a moment paralyzed. A crash was heard be- 
hind him ! The stairs— the stairs up which he came had given way. 
All retreat was cut o£f. The flames were gathering round and like hide- 
ous monsters ready to devour him. What was to be done ? One hope — 
one poor forlorn hope — ^urged him forward ! he dashed through the 
cracking blazing passage, reached the stairs, and darted up, with the fire 
foUowing fiercely at his heels. By a miracle he gained the attic. The 
window was open. He leaped upon the parapet, and there, turning his 
eyes to' the opening heavens which reflected the flames, he clasped his 
hands, and with fervour thanked God! 

A &lling beam beneath him warned him from the spot ; and he crept 
on his hands and knees along the roof until his blood chilled on touch- 
ing a human face ! It was that of the servant, who, having escaped 
through the window, had fainted. He shrank back for the moment, ap- 
palled ; but on recovering himself he placed the poor girl upon his back, 
and proceeded over the roo& of the adjoining houses until he leached 
a stack of chimneys which impeded his further progress. 



I 

YALENTINE VOX. 165 

Hete he put his burden down, and turned to the rains from which he 
had escaped, and for the first time felt the dreadful effects of the fiery 
ordeal through which he had pa&sed. He was frightfully scorched. His 
hair had been singed completely off his head, and the clothes that re- 
mained on him were reduced to mere tinder. He cried aloud for help, 
but he could not be heard : he could see the mob below — ^but he 
could not be seen. The engines were playing, and the shouts of those 
who worked them would haye drowned the most dreadful clap of 
thunder. 

'^ Look out !** shouted fifty of the firemen in a breath ; and a rush 
was made to the opposite side. The next moment a tremendous crash 
was heard. The roof had fallen in ; and the clouds of smoke and dust 
which ascended with a roar were succeeded by a sliower of blazing laths 
and sparks which threatened destruction to all around. The effect was 
terrific. The sky itself seemed to be one sheet of fire descending to 
mantle the earth. 

Another shout burst forth : Horace was peroeiyed ! — every object being 
now distinctly visible. An escape-ladder was raised, and a fireman as- 
cended. ^*- Here /" he cried, addressing the startled Horace, who had 
just caught a dimpse of his head, '^ Get into this canvass ! Now 
don't be afiraid.' 

Horace carried the poor fainting girl to the parapet, and wished her to 
be taken down first. 

" Give me the girl," continued the fireman. " There ! Now yon 
get in, but mind don't go fast." And Horace got into the canvass 
tube, and gradually slipped to the bottom. 

On conung out of this tube he was literally naked, for during the de- 
scent, his clothes, which were but tinder, had been rubbed completely off. 
A blanket, however, was immediately thrown around him, and he was 
carried at once with the girl to the suigeon's. 

By this time the house was completely gutted, and the engines were 
playing only on the hot party walls that nie fire might not reach the 
nouses adjoining. This effect was produced : those houses were saved ; 
and in a short time although the engines still kept playing, nothing but 
«moke could be seen. 



CHAPTER XXni. 



▼ALBNTIKB ATTENDS A PHRBNOLOGIGAL LECTURE, AND INSPIRES A 
murderer's skull WITH INDIGNATION. 

What a beautiful science is that of Phrenology ! In the whole range 
of sciences where is there one which is either so useful or so ornament^? 
Fortune-telling is a fool to it. It stands with consummate boldness upon 
the very pinnade of fiitality . To the predestinarian it is a source of great 



166 LIFE AND ADTENTURES OF 

<30iiifort : to all who deeire to take themselTes eniateiy out of ihmr own 
faaada-— to get rid of that eort of responfiibility which is sometimes ex- 
tremely inoonvenient— it is really a positive blessing. When this de- 
lightM science shall have made its way home to the hearts of mankind 
univenally, as it must, what a lovely scheme of life will be opened be- 
fore ns ! — what a charming state of society will be based npon the mins 
of our present dreadfdl system of civilization ! Then« and not till then, 
will mankind be quite happy. Then will perfect hberty obtain. Then 
will men see the sand-blindness of their ancestors, and sweep away like 
chaff the dreadftd injustice which forms the very essence of punishment. 
Then will it be seen that law and liberty are inimical — a thing which 
has but to be seen for our statute books to be converted into one mon- 
strous cinder and placed upon a pedestal as an everlasting relio of ezcru- 
dating tyranny. It will tnen be acknowledged that men are but men — 
that &ey are by no means aooountaUe for their actions— that they do 
thus or tiius simply because they have been predestined to do thus or thus 
— «nd that therefore they cannot be censured or punished with justice. 
It will then seem amaaing that punishments should have been counte- 
nanced — amaiing that men should have been made by their fellow-men 
to suffer for actions over which they dearly had no control — ^nay, actions 
which they were, in &ct, bound to perform !— >for, why, it will be argued, 
do men commit murders? Why do they peipetrate rapes and pick 
pockets ? Why-Yearly because they can't hdp it ! And what line of 
Aigument can be shorter ? And as for its soundness ! — why that will 
of course be perceived at a glance. 

It is lamentable — absolutely lamentable — ^to think that this extremely 
blessed state of society stands no sort of chance of being established bo- 
fore the next generation ; and we, who endure the atrocities of the pre- 
sent cramped-up scheme, may with infinite reason envy the sweet feel- 
ings, the delightful sensations, the charming state of mind, which the 
establishment of a phrenologically social systmn must of necessity induce. 
There are of course some unhappy individuals in existence sufficiently 
ill-conditioned to contend that phrenology never can bring about this 
unspeakably glorious state of things : and really none can wonder at it ! 
—none can wonder that the cool contemplation of such a delightful state 
of society should confirm the mcredulity of the naturally incredulous — 
but that it will, when carried out to its legitimate length, be productive 
of all those extraordinary blessi^s, reflection — disinterested reflection— 
will render abundantly dear. K is all very well and very natural for 
lawyers, phjnricians, and such kinds of people to uphold the present sys- 
tem, inasmudi as it is by that system they thrive. They p^ectly wdl 
know that if a system were established upon these two bold and eternal 
prindples — ^first, that *^ Whatever is^ is riffht," and secondly, that ^^ They 
who are bom to be hanged can never be drowned ;" their respective 
occupations would be gone ! seeing that nature would then be dlowed 
to take the entire thing into her ovm ample hands. 

But there are also ^' phrenologists ** suffidently weak to maintain that 
their own immortal sdeooe is by no means designed to aeoorajJish the 
**i6at objeota to whidi seference has been had. Theee^ howevar, arft 



VAI.KNTINB TOX. 167 

not pure phienologista. They take an extremely rotten view of the 
thing, and are mnm to be pitied. The professors of a science ought 
never to under*ratQ the advantages of the science of which they are pro- 
fessors. It isn't right ; such a course has a direct and natural ten- 
dency to bring the tiling eventually into contempt. If nature has im- 
planted in our skulls certain organs containing the genns of certain 
passions, whose internal working not only produce an external deve- 
lopmei^t, but force us to act as they direct or in obedience to their will, 
we have clearly no right to the reputation of being responsible creatures, 
and we have but to believe that we possess no such right, to recognize 
the injustice involved in all punishments, and thus to lay the founda- 
tion of that sweet social system which cannot be thought of without 
pure delight ! 

Now with the view of inspiring a due appreciation of the blessings with 
which this delightful science te^s, a distinguished professor was about 
to deliver a highly interesting lecture as Y a&ntine passed an institution 
to which his attention had been directed by a crowd pouring in. 

Valentine happened to be dull that evening; for while he could ob- 
tain no tidings of Goodman, he saw no probability of finding out the 
residence of her of whom he felt more than ever enamoured. He there- 
fore, with an hour's amusement for his object, applied for a ticket, and 
having obtained one, entered a well constructed room, in which there were 
seats raised one above the other, and capable of accommodating about four 
hundred persons ; while on the rostrum stood a table, upon which were 
placed several peculiarly formed skulls, the nominal relics of some of the 
greatest scoundrels, fools, philanthropists, and statesmen, that ever had 
existence. The place was crowded, and when the appointed time had 
passed without the appearance of the professor, the audience began to 
manifest that respectable sort of impatience which develops itself in a 
gentle timid tapping of sticks and umbrellas. The amount of intelli- 
gence displayed by the audience was truly striking ; and as Valentine 
was able at a glance to perceive who were reaUy phrenologists, and who 
really were not, by the mode in which their hair was arranged — for the 
phrenologists wore theirs entirely off their foreheads, in order that every 
bump which could be seen might be seen, while the anti-individuals suf- 
fered theirs to hang roughly, or, if it would curl, to curl accordingly upon 
their latent brows— he became extremely interested in speculatmg upon 
the extent to which the advocates of the science would be, at once, pre- 
pared to go. He had not, however, speculated long when a movement was 
made upon the rostrum — a movement which was palpably indicative of 
something. Every eye was of course directed most anxiously towards 
the door; and when the professor, who formed part of a solemn processicm 
entered, the applause was exceedingly libeial and loud. The members 
of the committee then seated themselves at a most respectful distance on 
either side, and when the professor had recovered his self-possession, he 
coughed sUghtly, eave several peculiar ahems ! and thea in sweet silvery 
tones said : — ^ Lames and Gentlemen : In speaking of the science of phre- 
nology the first consideration which suggests itself is^ whether the ex- 
ternal development of man's propensities and passions be the cause or 



IBS LIFE AND ADTENTURES OF 

the effect of those propeDsitie» and pasnons. Now, in order that I may 
illustrate clearly that such deydopment is the effect, not the cause, I pro* 
pose to direct your attention to the peculiar organisation of the heads of 
certain well known charactent, whose dculls I have here. — Now," con- 
tinued the learned professor, taking up a very singularly formed skull in 
both hands and looking at it very intently — " tms is the head of Tim 
Thomhill, the murderer." 

^' The what !'' cried Valentine, dexterously pitching his voice into the 
skull. 

The startled professor dropped it on the instant ; and as it rolled veith 
peculiar indignation upon the rostrum, the audience simultaneously burst 
into a convidnve roar of laughter. 

The professor at first did not laugh. By no means; he looked amazed, 
turned pale, very pale, and slightly trembled,, as he stared at the rolling 
skull. But when he had sufficiently recovered himself to know that 
ail were laughing around him, he certainly made a lamentable effort to 
join them. And this gave him courage, for he proceeded to pick up 
the object of his amazement ; but no sooner had he got his hand upon 
it airain, than Valentine, cried, ^^ A murderer V in a tone of ereat so- 
lemSity! ^ ^ 8 

The professor again started back; but the laughter of the audience 
was ndther so loud nor so general as before, seeing that many had been 
struck with the idea that there was something supernatural about it. 

'^ This is strange, very strange,— extraordinary !" said the professor, 
with great intensity of feeling—'' very, very extraordinary." 

'' A murderer V repeated Valentine, in a deeply rerooachful tone, 
which of course seemed to proceed from the relic of Tim Thomhill. 

The audience laughed no more. They did not even smile. They 
looked at each other with an expression of wonder, and felt that the skuU 
was under some ghostly influence, while the learned professor, albeit by 
no means prone to superstition, was utterly lost in amazement. 

'^ Is it possible," thought he, '^ that this skull can be inhabited by the 
spirit of Tim Thomhill ? Is it possible tliat that spirit can have spoken?" 
He was not prepared to say that it was impossible, and the assumption 
of its not being impossible generated the consideration of its probability, 
which, added to the evidence of his own ears, at length reduced the thing 
to a certainty, or something very like it. And this «eemed to be the 
conclusion at which the members of the committee had arrived, for they 
looked extremely grave and altogether at a loss to give expression to 
their feelings on the subject. 

'' Ladies and Grentlemen," said the professor, after a very awful pause, 
during which it happened to strike him tiiat he ought to say something. 
'^ I scarcely know how to address you. This occurrence is of so extra- 
ordinary a character, that I really don't know what to think. With a 
view to the promotion of science—" — 

'' Ha ! — ha ! — ha !" cried Valentine, in a O smithian tone, and at melo- 
dramatic intervals, throwing his voice behind the professor, who started, 
but daved not look round, — '^Ha! — ha! — ha!" he repeated, making the 
voice appear to proceed from a much greater distance ; and while the (£aii- 



VALENTINE VOX. 169 

l»ai], the professor, and the gentlemen oftlie committee had scarcely the 
power to breathe, the skulls on the table seemed to ei^oy the thing ex- 
ceedingly ; for they really, in the imagination of all present, appeared to 
be grinning more decidedly than ever. 

There is nothing in nature which startles men more than a noise for 
which they cannot account. However strongly strung may be their 
nerves : however slight may be the sound which they hear, if they can- 
not account for that sound, it at once chills their blood, and in spite of 
them sets their imagination on the rack. If the voice which apparently 
proceeded from that skull had reached the ear of a man when alone, the 
effect would have been infinitely more striking; inasmuch as, if pious, he 
would have looked for that protection for which we all think of looking 
when no other aid is near ; while, if impious, he, with the greatest possi- 
ble promptitude, would have exclaimed, " Why, the devil's in the skull," 
and run away. As in this case, however, there were nearly four hun- 
dred intellectual persons present, they stuck to each other for protection, 
and during the awful silence which for some time prevailed, the more 
reflecting began to reason themselves over the shock thus : — " Why 
what have we to fear ? We never injured Tim Thomhill. Ho might 
have been a very ill- used man ; but we never ill-used him : he might 
have been innocent of the crime for which he suffered, but we did not 
cause him to suffer. His spirit therefore cannot be angry with us, unless 
indeed it be a very uiureasonable spirit. What then have we to fear?** 
By yirtue of this profound course of reasoning many recovered their 
self-possession, and as Valentine remained silent to enjoy the effect he 
had produced, he had time to reflect upon that moral weakness of which 
we are peculiarly the victims. 

^' It is probable," thought he, '^ that there are in this assembly many 
strong-minded men — men whom nothing on earth tangible could appal, 
who would fight like lions undismi^yed, and who have courage to en- 
dure the most intense physical torture without a groan : yet see how the 
slightest sound alarms them ! — they can stand unmoved while the mighty 
thunder roars ; yet let them hear but a whisper for which they cannot 
account, and their blood runs cold and their hearts sink within them." 

There are, however, some individuals in the world, who, as soon as the 
shock has subsided, begin to ridicule that which alarmed them, and one 
of these happened to be the chairman of the committee. He had been 
startled by the sounds perhaps more than any other man present ; but 
when he could hear it no longer, he no longer feared it ; and therefore 
commenced laughing at and pinching those gentlemen who sat near him, 
and tried to bring the whole affair into contempt. This course of pro- 
ceeding was not, however^ relished by those gentlemen much ; for although 
they very naturally shrank back when he pinched them, they preserved 
a solemnity of aspect, which was, under the circumstances, highly correct. 
He then approached the professor, and laboured to convince him that it 
was ** after all, nothing," and did certainly succeed in relaxing the 
rigidity of that gentleman's features. 

'' Pick up the skull !" cried Valentine, who was anxious to see what 
he would do with it ; and the chairman adjusted his cravat, looked 



170 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP 

magnanimous, and picked up the skull ! Valentine was silent, the pro- 
fessor was silent, and the audience were silent, while the churman held 
the skull in his hand, and examined it minutely. He felt that his 
courage had excited admiration, and was by this feeling prompted to 
show off a little more. He therefore turned the skull over again and 
again, and after placing its grinning jaws to his ear very boldly, he tossed 
it up as if it had been a mere ball, and caught it again with considerable 
skill. 

This had the effect of restoring the audience to something bearing the 
semblance of good humour. A smile seemed to be anxious to develop 
itself upon their features, and although it was more than half suppressed, 
the valiant chairman grew bolder and bolder, and being determined to 
throw coittempt upon their fears, he rolled the skull from one point to 
another, put his fingers between its huge teeth, and really treated it 
altogether with ui^paralleled indignity. 

" What is the nlatter with you, eh?*' said he, playfully patting the 
skull ; " What ails you ? Are you not well, Mr. Thomhill ? Dear 
me, Tm exceedingly sorry you've been so disturbed." 

The audience now began to laugh heartily again, and to believe what 
they had wished all along to believe, that they had been very grossly 
mistaken. But just as they were about to feel ashamed of themselves 
for having suffered the sounds which they had heard to alarm them, the 
chairman rattled the skull of Tim Thomhill against that of an eminent 
philanthropist so violently, that Valentine, in a deep hollow tone, which 
appeared to proceed from behind the committee, who were joking with 
great freedom and spirit, cried ** Forbear !" 

The effect was electric. The members of the committee were on 
their legs in an instant ; the chairman dropped the skull, and stood 
trembling with due energy ; the professor turned pale, opened his mouth, 
and held his breath, while the audience were, if possible, more amazed 
than before. ^' Bless me !" cried one, ^* what on earth can it mean !" 
'* Good heavens !*' cried another, ** it must be a spirit.*' '^The place is 
haunted," cried a third. ^^ Let's go !*' said a fourth ; and ^* Let's go," 
had at once about fifty female echoes. 

There was a rush towards the door. The whole of the ladies departed, 
and none remained behind but really strong-minded men, who had been 
induced to do so in consequence of Valentine having shouted '^ Surely two 
hundred of us are a match for one ghost !'' 

This however was an excessively wicked observation. It was felt to 
be so generally, although it had the effect of inducing them to stop ; 
for however impious might be the notion, that a ghost, if it felt dis- 
posed to tackle them, could not beat them all into fits, they felt that it 
was probable that one might appear, and that in the society of two 
hundred men, they should rather like to see it. They therefore looked 
for its appearance with considerable anxiety, while the members of the 
committee were expressing their amazement in decidedly cabalistic 
terms. 

"What's to be done, gentlemen?" at length said the professor; 
" what is to be done ?" 



TALENTINE VOX. 171 

Those gendemen nosed their eyes to the ceiliug, and shook their 
heads solemnly. The chairman looked very mysterious. He shuffled 
and fidgetted and pursed his thick lips, and scratched his head violently 
— ^in fact his appearance altogether was nothing at all like what it was 
when he playfully patted the skull of Tim Thornhill. 

At length one of his colleagues — a scraggy individual, whose nose was 
quite blue and as round as a hall — ^rose to observe that he had always 
maintained through thick and thin, right and left, that every effect must 
have a regular legitimate cause ; that although it would sometimes occur 
that when the cause was absent the effect would be present, it might 
not be so in that particular instance — and that he would therefore sug- 
gest that if the sounds which they had heard did proceed from that 
skull, it was perfectly probable that if the skull were removed, the sounds 
would go quietly with it. 

This was hailed as an excellent suggestion. They all marvelled how 
they could have been so stupid as not to have thought of it before. They 
felt that of course it was likely — ^that nothing in fact could be in reality 
more likely than that the removal of the skuU would have precisely that 
result : they were certain that it would ; they were never so certain of 
any thing in their lives — but the question was, who would remove it ? 
The professor did not appear anxious to do so : the chairman did not seem 
to like the job at all : the gentleman by whoth the suggestion had been 
made thought naturally enough that he had done his share towards it, 
and his colleagues as naturally imagined that by urging the expediency 
of acting upon that suggestion, they had done quite as much as they 
could under the circumstances be reasonably expected to do. 

At length the chairman was struck very forcibly with a bright and 
novel thought. The porter was in the hall ! He might have heard 
something about the extraordinary occurrence from those who had de- 
parted, but it was held to be very unlikely, seeing that he was not only 
an Irishman, but a very sound sleeper. The porter was therefore sent 
for at once, and he came. He seemed rather confused as he bowed most 
respectfully, first to the professor, and secondly to the chairman, thirdly 
to the gentlemen of the committee, and fourthly to the audience, for as 
it was clearly his first appearance on any stage, he felt very awkward, 
and looked very droll. 

'* Murphy,'* said the chairman, ^' pick up that skull, and take it into 
the hall." 

'^ It's the skull yer mane, sorr? Yes, sorr,'' said Murphy; and he 
opened his shoulders precisely as if he had been about to remove some 
remarkably heavy weight ; but he had no sooner got it fairly up, than 
Valentine, sending his voice very cleverly into it, cried, " Beware !" 

" Murther !" cried Murphy, dropping the skull, and raising his hands 
with his fingers stretched as widely as possible apart. He appeared 
not to have sufficient breath to give utterance to another word, but 
standing in that attitude with his mouth wide open, he stared at the 
skull with an expression of horror. 

^' WeU, sir ? well?" said the chairman after a pause. '' What's the 
matter ? Take it up, sir, this moment." 



4C 



172 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

Murphy stared at the chairman, then at the professor, th^i at the 
audience, and then at the skull. He had no wish to be disobedient, :d- 
though he feared to obey. He therefore kicked the skull a little ; then 
shranJc from it a little ; then examined it a little ; and then kicked it 
again. { 

Do you hear, sir V shouted the chairman. 

Ye-eSy sorr !*' cried Murphy, who trembled with great freedom. — 
" It's alive, sorr !— taint didd !" 

" Nonsense f* cried the chairman, " away with it at once !" 

" What the divil will I do," said Murphy, whining in a most melan- 
choly tone. 

** Do you hear me, sir ? Take it below instantly." 

Murphy again approached it ; then rubbed himself all over ; then 
tucked up his sleeves to gain time, and then touched it again with his 
foot, while he shook his head doubtfully, and eye^ it with great fierce- 
ness. 

**• Now then !*' cried the chairman, and Murphy again stooped, and 
then put out his hrnd within a y^ird of the skull, and drew near to it 
gradually, inch by inch ; but the moment he was about to place his band 
again upon it, Valentine again cried, " Beware !" 

'^ Och I" cried Murphy, striking an attitude of terror, in which, with 
his eyes fixed firmly upon the skull, he shrank to the very back of the 
rostrum. 

The chairman and the professor here held a consultation, of which the 
result was an announcement that the lecture must be of necessity post- 
poned. " What we have this niglit heard," said the professor, " is so 
mysterious — so strange, that I really cannot trust my^lf to speak on the 
subject. It is, however, a mystery which I trust we shall be able to 
solve by — " 

" Bury me," interrupted Valentine, " Let me rest in peace, and seek 
to know no more." 

The professor did not finish the speech he had commenced ; but bow- 
ing to the audience, he left the stage, followed by the chairman and the 
gentlemen of the committee. Murphy could not of course take the 
precedence of any one of them : he therefore, witli his eyes still fixed 
upon the skuU, backed out as closely to the last man as possible, but be> 
fore he had made his exit an idea seemed to strike him — and that too 
with horror — that when all had departed, he was the man who would 
have to extinguish the lights ! 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



BRINGS THE READER BACK TO GOODMAN, WOO BOLDLY CONCEIVES A 
PARTICULAR PLAN, THE EXECUTION OP WHICH IS UNAVOIDABLY 
POSTPONED. 

Although Goodman strongly felt that the parties to the jconspiracy of 
which he was the victim would not escape eventual pimishment, little 




I Wji titilk" 



./ .„. 



■/.■W..,„ ../„„../y 



\ 



VALENTINE VOX. \7S 

did he think that retribution had aLready descended upon the head of 
his unnatural brother. Walter, he thought, might be living in luxury ; 
having obtained possession of all, he mi^ht be squandering it away, or 
existing apparently at ease ; but he envied him not ; he, on the contrary, 
pitied him sincerely : he felt that his outraged conscience would afflict 
him with mental torture, but he of course had no conception that he was 
at that time writhing in the most intense physical agony. 

There is a spirit — ^let us disguise its effects, or labour to repudiate its 
power as we may — which prompts us to cherish a feeling of gratifica- 
tion when they who have deeply injured us suffer those pangs which 
sooner or later bad actions induce. The entertunment of this feeling 
may indeed be attributed to want of charity ; but as it forms one of the 
chief characteristics of the human heart, it must be at the same time 
deemed perfectly natural, and as we are not divine, it may with safety be 
asserted that no mere man ever existed on eartli, to whom retributive 
justice upon those who had deeply injured him failed to impart secret 
pleasure. 

Goodman was never vindictive : few indeed could boast of being ac- 
tuated so slightly by the spirit of revenge : he laboured to forgive his 
enemies; he would have forgiven Walter — freely, heartily would he 
have forgiven him : still when lie reflected upon the misery which springs 
firom the wounded conscience, when he reflected that his brother must 
absolutely hate himself for doing that which he had done, the reflection 
imparted that amount of gratification which made him feel that, after all, 
he was the happier man. 

This feeling enabled him to bear up with firmness against all those 
indignities and brutalities to which he was then subjected : in fact he 
became in a short time comparatively reconciled, and he and his friend 
Whitely, who was his constant associate, resolved to make the best of 
their position, by amusing themselves as much as the bitter circumstances 
would allow. 

Goodman very often thought of Valentine, whom he had introduced 
by name to his hiond Whitely, and they frequently occupied their minds 
aU day in conceiving the various scenes he had the power to produce. 
This was indeed to them a source of great enjoyment. They bound each 
other down to imagine and to describe scenes alternately, and for hours 
and hours they forgot their cares, and laughed as heartily as if they had 
been free. 

Their laughter, however, struck them very often as sounding strange- 
ly, mingling as it did with the screams of a female who was shut up 
done within four brick waUs at the bottom of the garden. Goodman 
had frequently expressed a desire to see this poor lost creature ; and 
AVliitely, who was in favour with one of the keepers, succeeded, after 
much solicitation, in persuading the fellow to take him and Goodman 
into one of the upper rooms, which directly overlooked the den in which 
she was confined. 

From the harsh screams and bitter imprecations which proceeded from 
this den, Goodman was led to imagine that its inmate was an old 
withered, wretched -looking creature, whose intemperance had reduced 



* 



174 LIFE AMU ADV1SNTDRE8 OF 

her to a raving maniac, and whose former life had been spent among 
the vilest and most degraded. Conceive, then, his astonishment, when, 
instead of a miserable, wasted, haggard being, he beheld a fair girl, whose 
skin was as pure as alabaster, and whose hair hung luxuriantly down 
her back in flaxen ringlets, running round, shouting, screaming, and 
uttering the most dreadful imprecations that ever proceeded from the 
lips of the most vicious of her sex. 

^^ Qod !*' exclaimed Goodman, ^' what a sight is this !" 
^ Horrible !" said his friend, *•* most horrible !*' 
*'*' Poor, dear girl ! my heart bleeds for her. Has she no friends V 
^* Relatives she has," replied Whitely, ^^ or she would not be hexe." 
^ But she is insane ?" 

*' Doubtless ; but is that the way to cure insanity ? Is it flt that 
a young creature like that — ^not yet arrived at womanhood, scarcely 
eighteen, should be buried within four walls, and not suffered to see a 
single soul save the wretch who casts her food into her den during the 
day, and chains her down to her pallet at night ? Is that the way, I 
ask, to effect a cure? Is it not, on the contrary, directly calculated to 
increase the disease ? But she has not been sent here to be cured ; 
poor girl ! Eternal shame on her unnatund relatives ! — ^their only ob- 
ject is to keep her confined." 

^ But suppose," suggested Groodman, ^ that having done all in their 
power, they found her incurable V 

^* Her age," replied Whitely, ^^ forbids the supposition. • The malady 
with which she is afflicted could not have devdoped itself until she had 
arriyed at the age of fifteen or sixteen, and she is not eighteen yet. The 
idea of their having done all in their power to cure her is, therefoie, 
absurd. If they had wished to have her cured, they would not liave 
sent her here. It is monstrous that a lovely young creature, in the 
bloom of youth and beauty, should be subjected, under any conceivable 
circumstances, to such horrible treatment as this." 

**' Hear how wildly she calb upon the skies," said Goodman, ^ as if 
she expected aid from there." 

*'* From there, and from there only, poor girl ! will aid ever come to 
her." 

^ Well, you two ! have you seen enough on her?" cried the keeper, 
on re-entering the room in which he had left them for a moment, as a 
special mark of favour. 

^^ Thank you, Johnson,*' said Whitely, who knew how to manage 
the ruffian. ^^ How long has this poor girl been with you V 

^' Oh, a matter of two year. That there place was built for her. 
Nice place for a small party, ain't it ?— capitid patient, though, — ^pays 
more than any on 'em, — ^mopusses comes in reglar as clock work." 
^^ And has she been always as violent as she is now ?" 
*' No, she wasn't at first ; but she soon found her voice. — I say, ain't 
she got a throat ? — Can't she come it when she likes ? — and that's in 
course always, for she never sleeps, she don't. — That's the rummest go. 
I don't suppose she's had above a dozen winks the last twelvemonth. 
She's night and day, night and day, eternally howling." 



VALENTINE VOX. 175 

" That is her bed-room, I suppose,'* said Whitely, pointing to the 
upper part of the den, for the place was constructed like a pig-sty, one 
part being roofed, and the other quite open. - 

** Yes, that's where she — sleeps, I was going to say, — but it's where 
she don't sleep— ony wliere she's chained down." 

" The character of her disease," observed Whitdy, " I suppose, is very 
dreadful V 

*^ No, there ain't much the matter with her. She only wants a hus- 
band ; but as she ain't much chance of meeting one here, why she ain't 
much chance of leaving us yet awhile." 

At this moment the poor girl saw them at the window, and her 
shrieks were truly awful. She raved, and spat at them, and flew round 
the den, and endeavoured to clutch them, and folded her arras as if she 
had one of them in her embrace, and then shrieked again honribly. 

''Come," cried the keeper, " come, come along down ; you've seen quite 
enough on her now ;" and he led the way back into the garden. 

During the whole of that day the two friends spoke of nothing but 
the appalling spectacle they had witnessed, and when the time for being 
driven into their cells had arrived, they retired with hearts full of 
aorrow. 

In the morning, however, Goodman was a different man. His spirits 
were buoyant, if not, indeed, gay ; and as he shook the hand of his 
friend with more than usual ardour, he smiled with intense satisfaction. 
Whitely was delighted with his altered appearance. He felt that he 
must have heard some good news, and being well assured that his libe- 
ration would be the prelude to his own, he manifested the utmost 
anxiety during the whole of the time they were at breakfast. 

On reaching the garden, Gt>odnuui again smiled; when Whitely 
grasped his hand, and looking intently at him, said, ^' My dear friend ! 
you have heard — something ? ' 

** No," said Gbodman, still however smiling, — " No," 

** Heard nothing ?" cried Whitely whose hopes at once vanished. 
" Then why do you smile V 

** Because I have thought of something," replied Goodman, " which 
may perhaps answer our purpose as well." 

" Indeed !" cried Whitely, whose hopes again revived. " What 
is it?". ' 

'^ I can of course confide in you, and will therefore explain. I have 
arranged it all in my own mind. I have been nearly the whole of the 
night bringing the plan to bear. We cannot fail. We are perfectly 
certain to be successful." 

"Well, what is it? what is it?" cried Whitely with great impa- 
tience. 

*^ I conceived a scheme last night," said Goodman, ^^ which has but 
to be earned into execution, for our freedom to be at once secured.^' 

'^ I see — I see," said Whitely shaking his head, '' an escape. Ah, 
my friend, don't believe it to be possible." 
" But I do," said Goodman, ** I cannot but believe it to be possible. 



17G LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP 

In the first place, how many of these fellows — these keepers are th^re 
here ?" 

** Six" replied Wliitcly, ** with the man at the gate." 
^^ Six ; yery well. How many patients or prisoners are there 'who 
are perfectly sane ?" 

" Thirty, perhaps ; but say twenty-five." 

^* Well, say tliat there are but twenty. I am an old man, still I have 
some strength : you are much younger, and have more strength than I, 
and many whom I could point out have much more tlian you. Now 
is it not disgraceful that twenty or five-and- twenty strong hearty fellows 
should Buffer themselves to be kept in so dreadful a place as this by 
half a dozen tyramious scoundrels, whom, if it were necessary, they 
could strangle in five minutes ! Is it not, I ask, monstrous, that we, 
who have health and strength and justice on our side, should permit 
half a dozen degraded myrmidons, hired to sustain one of the most 
frightful systems with which men were ever yet cursed, to tyrannize 
over and trample upon us, to-chain us down like felons, and to kick us 
like brutes, when by simply displaying the strength which we possess, 
we might at once obtain our liberty ?" 

Mr. Whitcly shook his head, and slightly smiled, and then sighed ; 
but he made no reply. 

" I admit,*' continued Goodman, '^ that, man to man, they would be 
more than a match for us — tliat we could not compete with them at 
all ; but twenty-five to six — that is, more than four to one ! — Upon 
my life, I do think that the fact of our being here reflects disgrace upon 
us as men. There would not be the smallest necessity for hurting 
those persons. God forbid that I should injure any man however 
cruelly he may have injured me ; but what, my friend, — what if we were 
to go in a body to the gates, and to tell them firmly and resolutely to 
refuse us egress at their peril ? Is it to be supposed that they would 
make more than the mere show of resistance, or that if they even were 
to resist us, we could not at once overcome them ? Does it not, I ask, 
strike you as being dreadful, that five-and-twenty men, who have been 
stolen from society as we have been stolen, should continue to suffer 
these brutal indignities, should be kept here like convicts by a handful 
of wretches whom we have the power to crusli V* 

" It does," said Whitely, " it does seem dreadful." 

*' Then why do we continue to endure it ?" 

" Because — simply because we cannot help ourselves, my friend." 

** But why can we not ? What is there to prevent our escape in a 
body, and that too at once ?" 

" Do you think," observed Whitely, with great calmness, ** that 
you and I now pould thrash the six keepers, w^ere we to set to work 
manfully, and put out our strength ?" 

*^ Alone ? certainly not. I have already said that man to man they 
would be more than a match for us ; but twenty-five to six I consider 
that." 

I have, my friend, considered it, calmly considered it, and hAve ar- 



« 



VkLBSmSM TOX. 177 

liyed at tiiis cotidasion, that if we cannot thiadh the six: keepers onr- 
Belvee, yonr scheme is, under the circumstances, utterly impracticable ?** 

*' But why is it impracticable V 

** Because," replied Whitely, " we should have to depend solely upon 
ourselves ; we could not calculate upon having the slightest assistlmce. 
Our poor feUow-prisoners have been htre so long, that their minds have 
become enervated ; they have not the strength — the moral courage to 
join us. I readily grant, that if all, or even a third of them were staunch, 
we might, by taking these mjnrmidons by surprise, effect our object ; but 
their n>irits are broken ; they have lost all energy ; they could not be 
depended upon for a moment ; they have no heart, no resolution. Were 
we to propose the thing to them, no matter with what eloquence and 
force, tney would shrill from the attempt; they would not daie to join 
us ; they would at once agree with you, that our imprisonment under 
the circumstances, reflects disgrace upon us as men, and that, if an 
attempt were made, success would be almost certain ; but they would 
look at the consequences of a failure^ and that would be sufficient to 
deter them from acting ; for they know by sad experience, that albeit 
they are assumed to be unconscious of their actions, they are punished 
for those actions in spite of that assumption, and that the punishment 
which would inevitably follow the failure of an attempt like that which 
you have suggested would be dreadful. I myself thought of the same 
plan the day! came here, and felt as certain as you now feel, that it 
might with ease be carried into immediate execution ; but when I had 
sounded several of those whom I bad fancied were likely to join me, 
I found their minds so enfeebled, dunr spirits so low, that if ev^i I 
had succeeded in goading them on to an attempt, they would in all 
probability have deserted me at the very moment when enexgy and 
resolution were most essential to success. They have not the courage, 
my friend — depend upon it they have not the coura^. Every man, 
sir, in an enterprise of that kind, would act like a child." 

Goodman was silent, but by no means convinced of the impracticar 
bility of his scheme. He still felt sure that it might be carried into 
effect, for ^ what,'' thought he, ** if the minds of these persons are 
enervated, is it impossible for their energies to be aroused ?** As how- 
ever precipitation was in a matter of this kind to be condemned, the 
subject was for that time dropped ; but he still resolved to make every 
effort in his power to inspire his companions with spirit sufficient to 
join bim and Whitely in effecting theur escape. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

VALENTINfi VISITS THB VICTUALLBRS' PAlfCY FAIR. 

Ik the Coffee Room of the tavern at which Valentine occasionally dined 
he eaw, « few days after his diqphiy among the phieaokgiste^ a placard, 

A A 



178 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

which was headed, "The Licensed Victuallers' Asylum," and which 
announced that a Fancy Fair and a Fete Champetrb were about to 
take place under most distinguished patronage. 

" The Licensed Victuallers' Asylum !" thought Valentine, who had 
been taught to associate Licensed Victuallers with all that is seliish, 
grasping, and gross ; is it possible that they can have erected an asylum 
— that they can have been prevailed upon to sustain the unfortunate, 
the aged, and the in£rm ! And yet why should they not V 

He stuck at this question. He couldn't answer it. He couldn't tell 
why they should not be benevolent ; and being anxious to study tlie 
character of every class of men with whom he came in contact, he in- 
vited a remarkably corpulent, good-natured looking old fellow, who he 
felt could be nothing but the landlord, to have a glass of wine. 

^^ What is the nature of this asylum V said Valentine, when the old 
boy had squatted himself down, which he did without a second invi- 
tation, and began to pant fiercely, blowing out his cheeks at every pant, 
as if, conscious of the remarkably precious nature of breath, he wished 
to retain it in his mouth as long as possible. 

^* Why, sir," said the landlord, whose name was Broadsides, " that, 
sir, 's the Witlers' 'Sylum, 'stablished by Witlers, and a capital 'sylum 
it is, sir, too." 

" No doubt," observed Valentine ; " but what are its objects ?" 

" Why of course, sir, to perwide a good home for old broken down 
Witlers, and a werry good home it perwides. We take care of their 
children too, poor things ! We've a school for 'em fit for any nobleman 
in the land. You should see 'em, God bless 'em ! how happy they are. 
It's a blessing to look at 'em, that it is, a blessing." 

" You are going to have a Fancy Fair, I perceive ?" 

" Of course, sir ! We always do, annally ; and an out-and-out thing 
it is too. You'd be pleased, if you never was there. If you've nothing 
better to do, I'd adwise you to go. It's a treat, sir. I love it, the 
object is so good." 

Valentine was delighted with the feeling tones in which the old gen- 
tleman spoke, more especially when he alluded to the children ; for tears 
stood in his eyes, as he said, ^' Poor things ! God bless 'em !" which, 
without the slightest effort to conceal them, he mopped up mechanically 
with his thick Belcher handkerchief, and seemed to blow away with 
considerably more freedom. 

" There is much of the pure spirit of benevolence in this man's com- 
position," thought Valentine, ^^ rough as he is ; and if he be in reality 
a fair sample or the lot, they are indeed a very good set of fellows.'' 

*' Say youll go ?" cried Broadsides, slaping the thigh of Valentine, 
as if he had known him for years. 

" Well, I will !" cried Valentine, rubbing his thigh, and smiling. 

" Then I'll tell you what it is. I rayther like you ; I think you're 
a good sort, and I'm not often out of my reckoning ; if youll go, I'll 
drive you down, and give you as good a glass of wine as can be got 
when we get there." 

" You must leave the wine to me m that case," said Valentine ; 



TALBNTINB VOX. 179 

'^ but I hope that I shall not be depriving any part of your fiimily 
of a seat V 

" By no means in life ! My Missus and the girls goes the second 
day, 'cause you know, business must be attended to ; so, of course, I 
shall be glad to have your company down." 

It was settled. The morning came, and Valentine went to the house 
of Mr. Broadsides, who shook nim by the hand with the warmth of a 
friend ; introduced him to his wife and two daughters, and after hav- 
ing, what he termed a '^ leetle snack '^ in the bar, the gig was brought 
to the door, and they started. « 

The very moment they were off, the old boy be^an to talk. He, in 
the first place, gave the pedigree of his horse, explamed how many miles 
an hour he had done, how many miles an hour he was able to do then^ 
and how about twenty yeans ago, when he was younger^ hetrbtted from 
London to Brighton within the six hours, and that, without sweating a 
hair. He then spoke of the peculiarly good qualities of Mrs. Broad- 
sides, as a woman of business; he explained that she was *^ an extror - 
nary good wife, and an excellent mother," but that she had a ^^ par- 
ticular nasty temper," and that that was all he had to complain of. He 
then touched upon the virtues of his daughters, whom he described as 
^^ the best girls any where, — none could be better, let them come from 
where they might ; he showed very clearly what treasures they would 
be to those who might have the good fortune to marry them ; and after 
having dwelt upon their peculiar characteristics for some considerable 
time with great eloquence and pride, they reached a road-side inn, at 
which he put up his horse, and then waddled by the side of Valentine 
down a lane, which led at once to the Asylum. 

A scene of gaiety presented itself the moment they reached the gate ; 
and after passing the marquee, in which toys of every description were 
set out for sale, they entered the building, which was really very ex- 
tensive, and reflected great credit upon the Victuallers as a body. 

Broadsides was recognised at once by a number of jolly looking per- 
sons, who wore their hats on one side, and their hands in their pockets,, 
and never took them out, except indeed for the purpose of greeting their 
friends. After an infinite deal of nodding, and slapping, and squeezing, 
through the passage, Valentine and Broadsides pro<^eded up stairs to 
the board-room, round which the names of the donors and the amounts 
of the donations were emblazoned in letters of gold. 

^' That," said Broadsides, pointing to a well-executed portrait which 
hung at one end of the room, ^^that, of course, is the founder of the 
institution." 

Valentine could not resist the temptation ; he therefore threw his 
voice into the picture, and said, ^^ How are you ? how do ?" 

Broadsides started ; and the expression of his countenance was sin- 
gularly droll. ^^ Didn't you hear?" he cried, seizing the arm of 
Valentine, who replied that he heard something. 

^^ Something !" he continued. ^' It's the picture I" and he began to 
blow away with great energy. 

^^ Don't be alarmed ! don t be alarmed !" said Valentine, again throw- 



180 UFE ^KD APTSNTVBB8 OF 

ing kilB Toioe towuds thA portrait, and the founder aeemed to amOe 88 
Broadsides nodded, but in a waj that seemed to indicate that he didn't 
vnderstand it all. 

^^ I say, Bowles ! Bowles !'' cried Mr. Broadsides, seizmg the arm of 
a friend who had jnst entered. ^ I say, here ; look at tlutt pictor I*- 
I just heered it sp^ T* 

^ Heered it what V cried Mr. Bowles, with a smile of incredulity. 

*^ Speak !" returned Broadsides, and Mr. Bowles laughed very heartily. 

^^ As true as I'm here, it's a fiftct ; I heered him, as |dain as I erer 
did when he was aliye !" 

^^ Why what are you talking about, you jolly old fool 1" said Mr. 
Bowles. ^* Have you been havmg a drain already this morning ? What 
have you oot iato your stupid old head ?" 

*^ I don^ care a fiuden about what you say. I tell you I hesrod the 
pietur speak as plain as flesh and blood !" 

''But how could it?" 

'' I don't know how it oould ; I only know that it did, and thai'a 
enough for me." 

Bowles sUpped Mr. Broadsides on the baek, and told him in friendly 
terms, that be was an out-«nd-out old ass ; and moieover dhaevved, that 
he should see him again, he supposed, by and bye. 

'' Well, this is sutny aboui the rummest go," said Mr. Broadsides, 
when Bowles had left the room, ''that mortal man ever heeored 
teU on." 

"By no means," said Yalmitine, through the medium of the 
founder ; " did you never hear of a spirited portrait ?" 

The idea of a spirited portrait appeared to strike a light into the soul 
of Mr. Broadsides. He had heard of a spirited portrait, and leli that 
he never knew, till then, to what species the term legitimately- applied. 
He fancied, however, that he saw it then deariy ; anid, although be did 
not exactly tremble, he felt very queer. 

"Did you know him?" enquired Valentine, who feigned great 
amaiement. 

"Know him I" replied Broadrides. "Him and me were bnsBEum 
friends I Man3r'8 the bottle of wine we've had together !" 

" Well, then, you've no reason to fear hinu" 

" Fear him 1" cried Broadsides, " he wouldn't hurt a hair of my head. 
It isn't that, — it's only themmnessof the thing, you see, that gets over 
me." And Mr. Broadsides sat down, and gaiseq upon the portrait, until 
he fancied that he could see the benevolent founder^s lips curl and hia 
eyes sparkle, as they were wont, when the original received aa nn-^ 
usually large order. 

" Well, shall we see what they are doing below ?" said Valentine. 

" Yes — ^yes !" replied Mr. Broadsides, whose eyes were atill fixed 
on the portrait. " Yes : the only thing, you see, that punles pie ia^ 
that it isn't his voice ;" a feet which was certainly by no means oxtra- 
ordinaiy, seeing that Valentine had never, of course, heard the founder 
speak. " But I suppose," continued Broadsides, " that spirits don't 
lieak in the same tones as regular flesh and blood." 



TALBfTflfB YOX, 181 

*^Oood day/* observed Yafentmo, throwing bis ▼<»flo again towaids 
the portmt. 

*^ God bless 7011 ! Good day,*' aaid Mr. Broadsides^ who after taking 
another long gaze, caught hold of the ann of Valentine and waddled 
from the room. 

Now when Broadsides had got abont half way down stairs, it struck 
bim again as being veij extraordinary. He tiiezefore stopped short ; 
and after blowing out his cheeks to the fullest extent, and looking 
with considerable earnestness at Valentine, said, '^ Wdl, this is out of 
all donbt the most smgularest thing I ever met with in all my born 
days/' and having dehvered himseu of this remarkable sentiment, he 
and Valentine slowly descended. 

On reaching the end of the passage which led through the buildings 
Valentine found that, altliou^ the Fancy Fair was confined to the 
front of the Asylum, the chief attraction was behind ; for a spacious 
lawn opened before them, which was literally crowded vrith gaily dxessed 
persons, promenading vrith great propriety, and looking very happy, while 
at the bottom of the lawu there won several weS-construcied mar- 
quees^ which weie uniformly pitched, and had a strikinff effect. 

*^ Well, now, this exceeda my expectations," said Vafentine, v^vii^ 
hand towaids the scene which so brilliantly opened before him. 
^ Yes," observed Broadsides, ^^ yes, yes ; very pretty, very pretty; 
but that pictQik*<*I can't get that out of my head; that gets orer mo 
above a bit." 

*^ Oh never mind the picture,*' laid Valentine. ** What are they 
doing here ?" and he dragged Mr. Broadsides, who lodged very solemn, 
iovnuds one ol the marquees before which a crowd of persons were 
standing. In this place there was a very great variety of toys ; but 
the attnotion was an a&ir which was termed ^* the wheel of fortune," 
out of which, by X)aying the small charge of one shilling, any 
lady or gentleman was entitled to draw a slip of paper, the 
number emblazoned upon which r^ieaed to some valuable little 
article in stock. An interesting child about seven years old tumad the 
wiieel, and when a bluff uidividual-*^who kept oontinusUy recommend- 
ing the ladies and gentlemen present to ^^ try their ludc^ for as they 
was all prizes and no blanks at all, they couldn't do nothing but 
vrii&''-*-bad looked at the papers drav?n, he caUed the numbers^ and 
another individual with a list in his hand named the articles to which 
the numbers respectively applied, which articles were delivered to the 
individuab who had had the extraordinary good fortune to gain them. 

When Valentine had ascertained how this business was managed, he 
could not be silent ; he felt himself bound to phiy some of his nighly 
reprehensible trieks. He theieibre imitated the voice of the bluff indi-> 
vidajJ to such perfection, and called so oontinuaUy certain numbers 
whieh had never been drawn, that at l^gth that individual became 
extiemely Mgry vriith the other individutd, who kept as continually 
naming mile articles which had not been won. 
** Kow then,'* said the former, " twenty-two." 
•* Ko, twenty-seven," cried Valentine^ assuming his voice. 



182 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 



*^ Twenty-seven," said the person who held the paper. '^ Twenty- 
seven — ." 

" Twenty-two f' cried the bluff individual. ''Mind what you're 
about." 

'^ But you said twenty-«0«en/' said his assistant, who didn't at all 
like to be spoken to thus before company. 

*' I say that I said twenty-Two, sir," shouted the bluff individual, 
looking particularly black. 

'^ Twenty-two," said his assistant, *^ is a shaving brush," which 
article was at once handed over to the lady by whom it had been so 
appropriately won. 

Valentine perceived that if he went on in this way he should probably 
destroy that good understanding which had previously existed between 
these two persons, and as he had no desire to do that, especially as one 
of them clearly felt compelled to put up with the blustering insolence 
of the other, he took the arm of Mr. Broadsides, who still kept harping 
upon the ^' pictur*' and walked to the principal marquee. 

^* Ob, ho !" cried Valentine on entering, '^ all who drink here wiU 
not go home sober to-night !" which, although it was unheeded by Mr* 
Bro^Lsides, was certainly a very natural ezdamation, inasmuch as the 
marquee in question was lined with flaming pink-and- white festooned 
gla2sed cambric, which had so exceedingly daasding an effect, that a single 
pint of wine diank there would have excited a man as much as a couple 
of bottles would, drank in a quiet-coloured room. 

*' Come," said Mr. Broadsides, '* now let's have a little bit of summut 
to eat here. — Here, waiter ! Now, what have you got V and an ugly 
little rascal, who was the counterpart of Fieschi, and who personated 
the character of a waiter for that particular occasion, replied, *^ Fowls, 
sir, ham, sir, fowls and ham, roast beef, ham and bee^ sir, tongue and 
roast duck." 

Fowl and ham were ordered for two, tmd part of a leg with part of a 
wing were eventually placed upon the table. 

*^ What d'ye mean by bringing us these two mites ?" cried Mr. Broad- 
sides, indignantly digging his fork into one of them with the view of in- 
specting its dunensions more closely. 

'' Fowl and ham for two, sir, you ordered," said the waiter. 
*^ D'ye call this fowl and ham for two ? Bring us a whole un, and 
plenty of ham, not two tiny dabs like them 1" 

Fieschi looked if possible more ugly than before, as he took away the 
dish, the contents of which looked, after having been disturbed, by no 
means calculated to imput satisfaction to any man's stomach. He soon 
however returned with what was by courtesy termed a whole fowl, par- 
ticularly small and very skinny. But such as it was, Broadsides pushed 
it towards Valentine for the purpose of dissection, and Valentine not 
hems a family man, thought the shortest way of carvine up the animal 
would be to cut at once right across the breast bone, and thus to divide 
the thing equally ; but he had no sooner made the first cut« which effec- 
tually severed the body in twain, than Broadsides cried, *' Send I may 
live ! What are you at ? Here give us hold'' — and called upon Fiesclii 






VALENTINE VOX. 183 

to bring him a skewer. Fieschi accordingly produced a skewer which he 
said he had "drawed from a buttick o' beef," with which Mr. Broad- 
sides stuck the fowl again together, and then proceeded to cut it up very 
scientifically into a number of pieces — which Valentine fancied unne- 
cessarily small, as it would be all the same in the long run which was 
about to take place in the course of five minutes — Mr. Broadsides ob- 
serving, as he dextrously took out the small bones which young 
ladies in farm houses pull to ascertain whose fate it is first to be mar- 
ried, that he had been " head cook in the principalist tavern in Lond9n, 
and never in all his experience seed a chicken attempted to be carved in 
sich a fashion as that." He contended that half tho beauty of it was in 
the carving, while Valentine thought it all consisted in the eating ; but 
as the experience of Broadudes enabled him to get the better of the ar- 
gument, he felt satisfied, and called for a bottle of wine. 

" Have you got a bottle now," said he, " at all fit to drink V 
Capital wine, sir V replied Fieschi. 

Well, bring us some of the decentest yon have, d'ye hear?" — and 
a bottle of sherry was accordingly brought, which Broadsides no sooner 
tasted, than he began at once to spit, and to blow, and to make up such 
a very extraordinary fiice, that Fieschi imagined that he had by mis* 
take brought forward a bottle of vinegar. 

** Do you call this wine V cried Broadsides, spitting and blowing still 
with remarkable energy. 

*^ Beg pardon," repUed Fieschi, putting the cork to his nose, '^ it 
smells like wine, sir.*' 

*' Smells like wine," echoed Broadsides, contemptuously. *' It has 
nayther th& smell nor the taste of wine. It's enough to give an elephant 
the deliberate tremens. Give my compliments to your master, and tell 
him that my name's Broadsides, and if he can't send me a little better bottle 
of wine than that, he'd better set to work at once and drink it himself. 
Here, leave this now as it's opened, and go and fetch something a little 
matter fit to go into a christian's stomach. — Did yon ever taite such 
-wine," he continued, addressing Valentine, who thought it very fair wine, 
and said so ; but Broadsides declared that *' if he ever brought up such a 
bottle of wine as that to any customer of his he'd go and cut his tiiroat." 
The name of Broadsid^es appeared to have a great effect upon the 
master of Fieschi, for he not only sent a bottle of wine of which Broad- 
sides approved, but ordered Fieschi to bring the other bottle away ! 
This act of liberality had in return a great effect upon Broadsides, who 
pnused the last bottle before he had tasted it, and told Fieschi to let the 
other remain. Fieschi, however, respectfully insisted upon obe3dng his 
master's order, and Broadsides in return insisted upon Fieschi's master 
coming to take a glass with him as soon as he had a moment to spare. 
*^ I>^w, this is very decent, considering," said he, ^ but lor! it ain't no 
more like what's in my cellar — but then, lor! how can you expect it V 
J3j this time Valentine had demolished his share of the chicken, and 
had even commenced the process of flaying the back bone, when another 
ipvas produced, which Mr. Broadsides instructed him how to carve pro^ 
perly, and he eventually did it to the entire satisfaction of that gentle- 



i 



184 LIFB ANO ADTBIfTUftBS OF 

man, who dediiod thati alter ihai» he ** would be fit to cut up aayUiing 
in the world, at any table in life/' 

Now, when Valentine and Broadsidea had finished their meal, Mr. 
Bowles came into the marquee with three remarkably red-fiM>ed Mends, 
to whom BroadsideB, although he knew them weU— was introduced as 
*^ the man wot heard the pictur speak." 

^ I just did,'' said Broadsides, ^' and no mistake 1" ITpon whidi Mr. 
Bowles and his red-&ced friends began to laugh very heartily and yery 
loudly. '^ I don't care a dump," he continaed, ^^ about what you think, 
or what you say. If I didn't hear it speak, why, I neyer heered no- 
thine." 

^ You always was a rum'un," chaetvei Mr. Bowles. 

'' I don't care for that," returned Broadsides. *" Come, 111 teU you 
what I do now, Fll bet you a rump and doaen I heard it now, come !" 

This &Tourite and highly approved method of settling an argument, 
seemed for a moment to stagg^ Mr. Bowles, for he felt that he could 
not prove that Mr« Broadsides didn't hear it, and that if the onus of 
proof even rested with Broadsides, he had the evidence of his own ears 
at least, to bring forward, while he himsdf could produce no e vide n ce at 
all ; thinkii^, however, subsequently that the affirmative could not be 
proved, he said, *^ Done," and Yakntme throwing his voice behind Mr. 
Bowles cried, ^ You've lost" 

^ How lost V* shouted Mr. Bowles, turning sharply round. ^ Who 
says I have lost?" His red-fiued friends stared at each other, but 
neither of them spoke. ^ Who says I have lost T' he again inquired. 
« Who's to prove it V 

'* I," cried Yalentine, sending his voice above. *^ I f — the spirit of 
Hodffson !" 

*^ Now, will you believe me ?" cried BroadsideB, triumphantly, ^* Now 
am I a stupid old ass?" 

Mr. Bo^^es looked anaoed, and so did the red-fiused friends of Mr. 
Bowles. They stared, first at each other, and then round the marquee^ 
and after Mr. Bowles had expressed his decided conviction tiiat the 
thing was ^ onaccountably rum," he and his friends at once sat dovm, 
and having thrust their hands to the very bottom of their breeches 
pockets, began to look partieulariy solemn. 

^ Isn't it queer ?" said Mr. Broadsides, who was the first to break 



^ Queer T replied Bowles, — ** Here, give us some wine, and dont 
say a word more about it." And Mr. Bowles hdped himself, and then 
pinshed the bottle round, and idien his frfiends had fiDed their passes, 
they said with due solemnity, ^' Here's luck," and the wine was out of 
sight in an instant. 

Another bottk was ordered ; and when Fieschi had produced it, Mr. 
Broadsides begged leave to propose, as a toast, ^^^ The immortal memory 
of the Founder," which, of course, was duly honoured in silence. 

A pause ensued. They were aU deep in thought : they were tomiog 
the cireumstanoe over in their minds, and were, apparently, just about 
eoming to the conchiAon that the soiuids were imagmaiy after all, when 



VALENTINE VOX. 185 

Valentine) throwing his voice into the folds of the pink-and-white cam- 
bric, said, in tones of appropriate solemnity^ ^^ Gentlemen, I rise to 
thank you for the honour you have conferred upon me, and beg, in 
i^tum, to drink all your eood healths." 

Mr. Broadsides, Mr. m»wles, and his red-faced friends, hold their 
breath. They stared at the cambric with an expression of astonish- 
ment, but for some moments neither of them uttered a word. At length, 
Mr. Bowles broke silence. '' Well," said he, ^^ this beats all my ac- 
quaintance. I'm not going to stop here, and that's all about it." 

The friends of Mr. Bowles seemed to like this idea ; and as Broad- 
sides did not appear to be by any means opposed to such a proceeding, 
the bottle was anptied, and when the amount of what was termed 
the ^' damage," had been paid, the whole party left the marquee. 

On reaching the lawn again, where they began to breathe with in- 
finitely more freedom, the firing of cannon was heard, and several per- 
sons in the crowd exclaimed, *^ The children ! the children !'' Again 
and again the cannon were fired, and the visitors rushed to the sides of 
the lawn, round which the poor children were to pass. The band by 
which they were preceded drew nearer and nearer, and all hearts seemed 
gay, although the eyes of the old people glistened with tears. 

At length a policeman marched out of the passage which led through 
the Asylum. He was followed by the band ; then came a double row 
of octogenarian pensioners, whose appearance was calculated at once to 
upset aiU the tea-total doctrines in the world, at least, as far as those doc- 
trines have reference to longevity : then came the gentlemen of the 
board, with their blue rosett^ and smiling faces : then came the child- 
ren, and then the schoolmaster I whose head, albeit, remarkably large, 
and attached to a body weighing, at least, sixteen stone, seemed in- 
clined to repudiate the idea of its being impossible to find out perpetual 
inotion. Thus formed, the procession marched round the ample lawn, 
and the children appeared to impart great delight to the bosoms of their 
benevolent patrons. 

^^ I don*t know how it is," said Mr. Broadsides, when they had 
passed, ^' but them children there always makes me feel, I don't know 
how ;" and a couple of big tears, as he spoke^ dropped into his white 
wsustcoat-pockets. 

^^ I say. Broadsides," said Bowles, who at the moment approached 
with his red-faced friends, '' what fools we all are !" 

«' What about r said Mr. Broadsides. 

** Why about that there voice, there," replied Mr. Bowles. "I see 
it all now. Why mightn't it have come from some vagabone at the 
top V* and Mr. Bowles gave Mr. Broadsides a dig in the ribs, and 
hioghed again loudly, and his red-faced friends joined in full chorus. 

Mr, Broadsides dropped his head on his left shoulder, thoughtfully ; 
but after a time an idea seemed to strike him, and he exclaimed, *^ So 
it might ! some wagabone miffht have been a top o' the tent, but how 
oonld he get in the pictur ?** 

This, in return, seemed to puisele Mr. Bowles ; but after scratching 
his head for some considerable time, he cried, ^' Well ! I don't care ;— - 

B B 



186 LIFB AMD ADTBNTVRES OF 

I won't believe in any of your snpernatteral nonsense. I say there must 
have heea some blaggard outside. Will you make me believe that a 
ghost could return thanks in that there way? Ain't it out of all 
reason ? Come, let's go and see where the vagabone could have stood.*' 
And he dragged Mr. Broadsides to the bad^ of the marquee, when 
Valentine, fancying that if he remained with them the wine would go 
round perhi^s a Tittle too fast, left the spot, and proceeded to anotlMr 
marquee, in which the whole of the provisions were dispensed. 

The person who presided over this large establishment was a man 
whom nothing seemed to please. He cut about among the bottles in 
such a dreadful state of mind, fredy sweating, and loudly swearing that 
every body robbed him, and labouring apparently under the horrible 
apprehension that he was working very hard to make himself a ruined 
man. The good which he did himself was, indeed, very trifling ; but he 
jumped firom one end of the tent to the other with the velocity of a mss- 
hopper, pushing aside all who happened to come in his way — scolding 
some for putting too much spirit in the grog, and others, for not putting 
in enough— declaring that one hadn't paid him for a bottle of stout, and 
that another wished to swindle him out of a plate of boiled bee^ — ^in 
short, he seemed to be, on the whole, a most unhappy individual, 
although a decidedly good-looking man. 

^ Well, old boy," said Yalentme, throwing his voice behind this re- 
markable person ; *^ and how do you eet on ? 

** On I" cried that person, *^ good Tuck to you, don't say a word to 
me now, whoever you are. i shall go raving mad ;— «ve^ body's 
robbing me ; every body's at it ; I don't believe I've got a single boniest 
man about me." 

" Do you see," cried Valentine, " how your wine's going under the 
tent there ?" 

*^ Under the tentl" cried the busy person, ^^ where? Here Tom- 
kins! Smith, Lucas I'rtm behind, and knock down those vagabonds, 
dy*e hear I Behind there! behind!" and away went three wraiters. 
^* I thoughty* he continued, ^' that the wine went somewhere. I've lost 
a couple of dozen, at least ; and nobody 11 look out, nobody 11 assist 
me, although I am surrounded by plundering thieves ; nobody '11 move 
hand or foot ; I must do all myself." 

^ Ther^M nobody behind !" cried Lucas, returning; and Tomkins, and 
Smith bore testimony to the fiatct. 

^^ I tell you they've been forking out the wine I but you're all in a 
gang. I expect to see you all, by and by, as drunk as devils. If I've 
bst one bottle, I've lost five doasen. But let 'em come again,-— only let 
them try it on ! Fll keep my eye upon 'em, — ^111 sarve 'em out, the 
warmint!" and he placed an empty bottle near a hole in the canvas, and 
a carving-knife upon a hamper beside it, with the view of having a cut 
at the very next hand that happened to be clandestinely introduced. 

Valentine feeling that it would be cruel to tease this unhappy man 
under the circumstances any longer, left the spot, and proceeded across 
the lawn with the view of inspecting the female visitors, of whom all 
were well dressed, and some very beautiful, but none in his judgment 



TALBHTmB TOX. 187 

one-half so beautiful as the fair unknown whom he had saved to lose, he 
£Bared, for ever. There was in the crowd one who, with soft sleepy 
eyes, which when opened were briUiaat and fuU, bore some slight re- 
semblance to his idol ; but even she was not compaiable to her of whom 
he felt so much enamoured, for while her features were irregular, and her 
figure inelegant, her voice, which he heard as he passed, contrasted 
harahly with those sweet silvery tones which he so well remembered. 

His ear was, however, at this moment assailed with a different species 
of music, for the band commenced the overture to Der Frietchutz^ with 
the wild unearthly phrases of which he had before felt enchanted. He 
had scarcely, however, reached the lawn m front of the Asylum, on which 
the band was stationed, when he was started by a remarkably heavy 
sUp on the shoulder, which on turning round he found to proceed from 
Mr. Broadsides, who had evidently been taking more wine, and who 
exclaimed, " Well, old follow, why, where have you been poking to ? 
We've been running all over the place to find you. Come, let's see 
what's agoing forrud here;" and taking the arm of Valentine, he at 
once led the way into the booth termed the " Ladies' Bazaar," in which 
all sorts of toys were exposed for sale, and the avenue was crowded, but 
they nevertheless stopped to inspect every stall. 

^^ Will you buy me a work-box please, Mr. Broadsides," said Valen- 
tine, assuming a female voice, which appeared to proceed from a very 
gaily dressed little lady who stood just Inside him. 

Mr. Broadffldes ohudked the little lady under the chin, and said, 
*' Certainly, my little dear, which would you like T 

*'*' Sir I" cried the little lady, tossing her head proudly, and turning 
away with a look of indignation. 

Broadsides blew out his cheeks with an energy which threatened to 
crack them, and after giving a puff which nearly amounted to a whistle, 
he tossed his head in humble imitation of the little lady, and turned 
round to Bowlea 

'* Hullo !" said that gentleman, '* Can't let the girls alone, eh ? still 
np to your old tricks ? I shall tell Mrs. Broadsides. ' 

Now, although Mr. Bowles had no intention whatever of carrying this 
threat into actual execution, the bare mention of that lady's name caused 
Broadsides to blow with more energy than before. " Why," said he, 
** didn't you hear the cretur ask me to buy her a work-box ?" 

*^ It's all very fine," replied Bowles, *^ but it won't do, old boy, it 
won't do." 

"" Well, if she didn't, I m blessed 1" rejoined Broadsides, '' and that's 
all about it." 

Mr. Bowles, however, still very stoutly maintained that if she had, 
she would never have bounced off in that way, and as that was an argu- 
ment over which Mr. Broadsides could not very comfortably get, he 
nmod. Valentine's arm and pressed back through the crowd. 

^^ Well," said he, on returning to the lawn, " how do you find your- 
self now ?*' 

^' Why," replied Valentme, ^ particularly thirsty, can't we have some 
tea?" 



1 



188 LIFB AMD ADVBMTUBBS OF 

^^ Tea is a thing I nerer do drink," said Broadsides; ^^ bat if you'd like 
to have some I'll tell you what we*U do ; we'll give one of the old wo- 
men a turn, jou know, instead of going down to that there toit." 

Valentine, of coune, was quite wuling to do so ; and as the charitable 
suggestion was applauded by Mr. Bowfes and the only red-&oed firiend 
he had with him, they w^t into one of the little rooms in the Asylum, 
and after Broadsides had warmly kissed its occupant who was remsrk- 
ably old, but remarkable clean, he at once ordered tea for half a doeen. 

^^ There are but four of us,^' observed Mr. Bowles, as the delighted 
old lady left the room to make the necessary preparations. 

^*' Oh ! never mind," said Broadsides, "• iVll be ail the better, you know, 
for the old woman. She don't have a turn every day. You wouldn't 
believe it,'' he continued, ^^ but that old cretur, there, when I first 
knew her, kept one of the best houses of business in London ! 

^' Is she a widder?" inquired Mr. Bowles. 

^' Now she is, but she wasn't then ; old Sam was alive at that time." 

" And when he died I suppose things went to rack and ruin V 

'^ Oh, that occurred before he went home. He was the steadiest man 
any where, the first seven 3rearB he was in business, and made a mint 
o' money ; but when he lost his daughter, a beauti^ girl, just for all 
the world like my Betsy, he all at once turned out a regular Lushington, 
and everything of course went sizes and sevens. He always made a 
pint of getting drunk before breakfast, and ruination in one way of 
course, brought on ruination in another, imtil he was obliged for to go 
all to smash. Poor Sam died very soon after that time you see, because 
he couldn't eat. It don't matter what a man drinks, so long as he can 
eat, but when he can't eat, he ought to leave off drinking ull he can. 
That's my sentiments." 

^' There's a good deal in that," said Mr. Bowles, ^* a good deal." 

^^ Well, dame," said Broadsides, as the widow re-entoed the room ; 
^^ why you are looking younger and younger every day. It's many 
years now since you and me first met." 

^' Ah !" said the poor old lady, with a sich, '^ I've gone through a 
world of trouble sin' then ; but, €k>d be praised for aU his goodness, 
I'm as happy now as the dayB are long." 

'' That's right, my old girl," said Mr. Broadsides, '' that's right I I 
say now, can't you set us a bottle of decent port anywhere about here?" 

'^ I dares to say I can," replied the old lady, and she put on her 
bonnet, and having received a sovereign, trotted out. 

Mr. Bowles nowbecan to roast Mr. Broadsides about the little indig- 
nant lady and the work-box ; but that gentleman turned the tables on 
Mr. Bowles by reminding him, that when he lived at Brixton, and was 
at a party at Kennington, he insisted upon seeing a young lady home, 
not knowing where she lived ; and when the feivour was granted, he had 
to walk wiuL her, at twelve o'clock at night, into Bed Gow Lane, near 
Stepney Qieen. 

'' Is that a fact ?" enquired the red-faced friend of Mr. Bowles. 

'^ Oh that's true enough," replied Bowles, ^^ and all I could do, I 
couldn't get her to ride." 






VALBNTINS TOX. 189 

Hereupon Mr. Broadsides, and Valentine, and the red-fiieed gentle- 
man indulged in loud lauffhter, and Mr. Bowles very heartily joined 
them, and when the old kdy entered with the wine, she laughed too ; 
but the sight of the bottle soon subdued Mr. Broadsides, who in an 
instant b€^;an to unoork it. ^' Keep the change, old girl, till I call for 
it," said he, and the old lady said that he was a very good man, and 
hoped that God wonld bless him, and that his £unily might prosper. 

Valentine had to make tea ; and Mr. Broadsides sat at another little 
table over his wine, which he drank yery fast and very mechanically, 
for his thoughts were on the mysterious oocuzrences of the day. Valen- 
tine, however, would not let him rest, for taking advantage of an 
unusually nlent moment, he introduced under the table at which he 
was sitting, an exact imitation of the squeaking of a rat. 

^' Hallo i^' cried Broadsides, starting up in a moment, and seiong 
the poker, and in doing so, knocking down the shovel and tongs ; ^^ only 
let me oome across you.'' 

^^ What's the matter with you now I*' exclaimed Mr. Bowles. 

^' Shet the door, shot the door 1" cried Broadsides to the widow, who 
bad entered, on hearing the rattling of the irons. ^* Here's a rat-— a rat !" 
and the old lady dropped upon a chair and wound her clothes in an 
instant round her 1^ as tightly as possible, while Broadsides was 
anxiously removing every article of furniture in the room, and searching 
in every comer with the poker in his hand. 

^^ Lor^ bless us 1" cried the widow, ^' I didn't know there was a mt in 
the place," and another squeak was heard, upon which Mr. Broadsides 
jumped upon a chair with all the alacrity at his command, which was 
not very considerable, and looked very fierce. 

The laughter of Mr. Bowles and his red-faced Mend at that moment 
was particularly hearty, for they were not afraid of rats 1 but Mr. 
Broadsides was, and so was the old lady, who continued to sit in an 
interesting heap. 

'' Only let me come across him !" cried Broadsides again, and doubt- 
less had a rat at that moment appeared, it would have stood a Tery £ur 
chance of giving up the ghost, for Mr. Broadsides shook the poker with 
great desperation, and looked altogether extremely ferocious. 

'^ Come down from that chair, do, you jolly old fool,'' cried Mr. 
Bowles ; '' as true as life, I shaU bust 1" and another roar of laughter 
proceeded from him and his friend, in which Valentine could not help 
joining. Indeed he laughed so heartily, that all alarm subsided, for as 
he couldnH t^ueak for liuighing, Broadsides eventually descended from 
the chair. 

'' They're nasty things are rats," said he, ^^ particular nasty things. 
I can't abear 'em," and he began to give an account of the ferocious 
oharacteristics of those little animala, describing the different species 
and the different parts at which each of those different species took it 
into their heads to fly ; and while he was drawing the line between the 
grey rat and the black rat, the old lady still holding her clothes down 
very tightly, managed to rush, with great presence of mind, from ttie 
room. 



190 LIFE AND AOTBNTirBSS OF 

Mr* Bowles and bis firiend, however, conlamied to lanch, and as the 
sqaee^ing had ceased, Mr. Broadsides laughed too, while Yalentiiie, 
who then had a stitoh in his side, slipped away in a dreadful state of 
muscular excitement. 

The very moment he got out of the place, he met one of theied-ftoed 
finends of Mr. Bowles, walking between two gaudily dressed ladies, one 
of whom was remarkably short and &t, whfle the other was remaikable 
only for her decided skeletcmian characteristics. To these ladies Valen- 
tine was formally introduced ; the short fiftt lady, as the wife of the red- 
faced gentleman, and the tall Uiin lady, as Miss Amelia Spinks. 

^* We are going to have a danoe^" said the red-iaced gentleman, ^* will 
you join us i 

^' With pleasure," replied Valentine, looking into the little laoghing 
eyes of the short &t lady, who mechanically drew her arm from that of 
her husband, and Valentine as mechaiiically offered her his. 

Thus paiitsd, though by no means matched, they proceeded araoss the 
lawn, and having reached the dancing booth, they paid the admission 
fee, and entered. 

The place was dreadfully hot, as were indeed all who were in it, 
for tliey not only danced with all their souls, and with all their strength, 
but, in consequence of the place being so crowded, they bumped up 
against each other's bustles at every tiun, while the professional gentle* 
men in a sort of a box were scraping and blowing away, like JN^orth 
Britons. 

Valentine solicited the hand of the short iai lady for tiie next set. 

^ Oh dear,'' said that lady, '^ I am so weny horkard ; but is it to be 
a country daiice V* 

Valentine hoped not, firom his sonl, under the circumstances, and 
was gratified to learn that country diuices were there repudiated, as 
▼nlgar. He^ however, ascertained that th^ were going to have a 
Spanish dance, which certainly was the next best thing ; and, havine 
eommnnicsted that interesting hct to the lady in question, he prevailed 
upon her eventually to stand up. 

The gentlemen now clapped their hands, vnth due energy witii the 
view of intimating to the musicians, who were sweating like bullodu, 
that they were perfectly prepared to start off, and after a time those 
professional individuals did consent to sound the note of preparation. 

Now in order that aU might be in motion together, every third ooupb 
were expected to lead off, and as Valentine and his partner happened 
to form a third couple, they of course changed sides, and the dance 
commenced. 

*^ I do hope," said she, when they had got to the bottom, *< that 
we shall have to go all the way down again, it is so beautiful." But 
unfortnnatdiy for ner the music ceased the next moment, and the daooe 
was at an end. And then, oh ! how she did run on I Nothing was 
ever half so lovely, one quarter so nice, or one hundred and mlbieth 
part so delightful as that Spanish dance. She was sore there never was 
soch an elegant dancer in this world as Valentine, and she did sinoerely 




■=3^^ 



•J 



TALMMTnrB YOX. 191 

hope to have the pkasuie of seeii^ liim often at ^' the Monntain and 
Mutton Chops." 

And Yalentuie was yery happy ; and the red-faoed gentleman was 
Tory happy ; and they were all very happy, and laughed very merrily, 
and peiepiied yery freely. 

*' Come," said the led-foced gentleman, holding forth a glass of hot 
brandy-and-water. ^' Drink, sir : I'm happy to know yon as the friend 
of Mr. Broadsides, and you're worthy of being the friend, sir, of any 
man— ^nk !" 

Valentine apped. He fancied that hot brandy-and-water would not 
be exactly the Ihing after the work he had had to perform, and therefore 
went for some ices and sundry bottles of lemonade for himsdif and the 
ladies, who, during his absence, were lost in admiration of his pleasing 
companionable qualities, which certainly were very conspicuous. 

The next dance was called — the Caledonians ! Now, thought Yalen- 
tine, I am in for it beautifully. 

** I shall have you a^n for a partner," said he, *' of course ?" 

^'Oh dear me, yes, I shall be so happy," cried the little fat lady, 
star&g up, ^' but you must teach me, you know ; and then I don't 
mind.' Nor did Ate, Had it been a minuet or eyen a hornpipe, it 
would not have been of the slightest possible importance to her then, so 
long indeed as Valentine consented to instruct her. 

The music commenced. ^^ Hands across, back again to plaoes," cried 
a person who officiated as master of the ceremonies in a voice so pecu- 
liar that Valentine fancied that he mi^t as well imitate it as not. The 
first figure was accomplished ; and Uie little fat lady who would not 
stir an inch without being led by Valentine, went through it very well ; 
but just as they were commencing the second, Valentine assuming 
the voice of the M. C. cried, ^^LHiT* and those who happened to 
hear him, began to do Uiti in defiance of the master of the ceremonies, 
who shouted, ^^ No, no 1 Caledonians ! — ^not the first set !" 

The error, after some slight confusion, was rectified, and they went 
on advancing and retiring very properly ; but when they arrived at the 
*^ promenade " Valentine cried, ^^ Chanez craitez ! " and those who 
obeyed, met those who were promenading with great energy of mind, 
well knowing that they were right, and so violent was the contact, that 
in a moment at least fifty couples were on the eroundl The pro* 
menaders had the worst of it deddedly, for they galloped round at such 
a rapid rate, that when one couple fell in a set, the others rolled over 
them, as a purely natural matter of course. The oonfiiaion for a time 
was unpandleled, and the lauffhter which succeeded amounted to a roar, 
but Valentine gallantly saved his little partner ; for, suspecting what 
was about to occur, he seized her by the waist, and drew her at once 
into the centre, where he stood viewing the tumult he had thus repre* 
hensibly induced with feelings of intense satisfieustion. 

Of course the fiiUen parties were not long before they scrambled up 
again, and when they had risen, the brushing on the part of the gen- 
tlemen, and the blushing on the part of the hMies, were altogether un- 
exampled, while the musicians, whose eyes were firmly fixed upon the 



192 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF VALENTINR VOX. 

notes, worked away as if nothing had happened, ttntil they had com* 
pleted the tune. 

^^ Why did you call chassez-eroUez f" shouted seTetal of the gentlemen, 

in tones of reproach. ^* We were all right enough imtil you interfered." 

The master of the ceremonies assured those gentlemen, individually 

and collectively, that he did not call out ^' chtutez-eramz** at aU, and 

that somehody else did« 

Valentine now thought that it would be a pity to disturb the clear 
current of their enjoyment again. He, therefore, permitted them, with- 
out interruption, to go through the various figures prescribed, and made 
the fat little lady perform so much to her own satisfaction, and that of her 
husband — who appeared to be exceedingly fond of his little wife— that 
at the conclusion, their pleasure knew no bounds. 

Every dance after that, she stood up for, and she and her husband ap- 
peared to be 80 grateful to Valentine, and made him feel so conscious 
that the highest possible pleasure is involved in the act of imparting 
pleasure to others, that he really felt happy in giving her instructions, 
although she did work him most cruelly. Indeed, so much did he 
enjoy himself^ that he continued in the booth until the band struck up 
the national anthem, when finding that it was past ten o'clock, he took 
hb leave,. and went to look after Broadsides. 

That gentleman, he ascertained, after having searched for him in all 
directions but the right one, had started ten minutes before with Mr. 
Bowles. He therefore immediately left the gay scene, and having 
found that every vehicle about the place had been previously engaged, 
he set off on foot towards town. He had not proceeded for, however, 
before he arrived at a spot, on one side of which was an open field, and 
on the other a row of houses, which stood back some distance from the 
road. All was silent, and dark : it appeared so especially to him, hav- 
ing just left the glitter and noise of the fair. He, however, walked on 
pretty briskly ; but just as he had reached the termination of this field, 
two fellows stood immediately before him. He could see them but 
indistinctly, but he heard them with remarkable distinctness cry, '* Stand ! 
your money, or your life !" 

^*0h, oh !" muttered Valentine, "that's the game, is it I'* and he 
drew himself back with the view of striking out with freedom, but the 
fellows, as if conscious of his object, seized him in an instant, and one of 
them, holding to his head something, he couldn't tell whether it was 
the muzzle of a pistol, or the end of a bludgeon, nor did he much car&— < 
cried *^ Out with it ! quick ! — and your watch !" 

Valentine did not like to part with hi^ watch; nor was he very 
anxious to part with his money : he, therefore, finding the rascals par- 
ticularly impatient, and by no means disposed to wait until he had con- 
sulted a friend, — shouted, throwing his voice behind him — ^' Here they 
are! — here are the scoundrels ! — Secure them !" 

The fellows, on the instant, relinquished their hold, and turned 
round with unspeakable velocity; and just as the last man was darting 
away, Valentine presented him with a souvenir, in perfect similitude of 
a kick, and proceeded towards home without further molestation. 



193 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

IN WHICH VALBNTINE VTSTTS THE LONDON DOCKS, AND MOST REPRB^ 
HENSIBLT INDUCES A WICEXD WASTE OF WINE. 

As a matter of christian courtesy, Yalentine called upon Broadsides the 
following morning, and found that gentleman undeigoing the connubial 
operation of haymg his ears pierced painfully by the amiable Mrs. 
Broadsides, in consequence of his having returned from the Fancy Fair, 
in her judgment, a little too affectionate and merry. The very moment, 
however, Yalentine passed the bar- window, BrcMtdsides felt somewhat 
relieved, seeing that, strange as it may appear, he had been waiting all 
the morning for the entrance of some friend, whose presence might cause 
his lady's tongue to sound somewhat less harshly. He, therefore, on 
the instant, started up, and, having grasped the hand of Valentine, ob- 
served that he really was a very pretty fellow, for running away the 
previous evening ; and, having made this truly remarkable observation, 
he caused him at once to sit down in the bar, and slapped his thigh with 
all the force of which he was capable, and wished, very particularly, to 
know how he felt himself then. 

*^ Why, he's not like somebody I know," observed the highly sarcas- 
tic Mrs. Broadsides, volunteering an answer to the question proposed. 
'' He can go out and have a day's pleasure without making a beast of 
himself, and that's more than some people can do." And she looked 
very spitefully at Mr. Broadsides, and bottled some bitters, and, having 
driven the cork against the edge of the bar very violently, began to dam 
np an esrtraordinary hole in Mr. Broadsides' speckled worsted stockings. 

^^ Why," said Valentine, addressing Mr. Broadsides, ^' you were all 
right when you came home, were you not?" 

*' Right, sir !" cried the lady, '^ he never is right. Go where he may, 
and when he may, he alwa3rs comes home like a beast. It's wonderfal 
to me^^it really is wonderful, that men can't go out without drinking 
and swilling, and guttling, to such an extent, as to make themselves 
stupid. What pleasure,— what comfort, — what enjo3anent can there be 
in it ? That's what I want to know ! We can go out, and be pleasant 
and happy, and come home without getting tipsy : but you ! — there, if 
I wouldn't have every man who gets m that state, kept on brown br^td 
and water for a month I'm not here ! What, if I were to go out, and 
oome home like you, reeling I" 

** Oh, that would be a worry different thing," observed Broadsides. 

^ Not at all ! Don't tell me ! We have just as much right to get 
tipsy as you have. It's just as bad for one as for the other, and no 
worse. If a woman gets tipsy, she's everything that's dreadful. Oh ! 
nothing's too bad for her: it's then the fore-runner of all sorts of 
wicke&ess. But a man ! — ^he has only to get sober again, and nothing 
more is said or thought about the matter. I say, that like many other 

CO 



194 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

things, it's as bad for the man as for the woman, only the mischief of it 
is, it isn't thought so, that's all/' 

During the rapid delivery of these interesting observations, Mr. 
Broadsides was scratching his whiskers, and fidgeting, and winking, and 
nodding towards the door, with the view of inspiring Valentine with the 
conviction, that by leaving the bar, their mutual comfort would, in all 
probability, bo very matenally enhanced. It was some time, however, 
before he was able to make these peculiarly cabalistic signs understood ; 
but he was at length. sucoessfuU and Valentine, acting upon the natural 
suggestion^ directed a pint of wine to be sent into the coffee-room, and 
invited Mr. Broadsides to join him. 

^ Yon fa^ better stay here," said the lady, addressing Valentine, ^^ I 
don't allow every one to be in the bar, but I don't mind you ; and it 
ghall be more oomfoctable here than in that cold room : it has just been 
scoured out and is stillivery damp." 

Valenlane appaiently felt, flattered. He had not the smallest objec- 
timi to remain; but Bioadndes ifiost certainly had, and this was no 
sooner perceived by his lady, than she enquii»d, with bitter earnestness, 
whether* be had any pantiimlar wish to have another fit of the gout ? 
This affectionate interrogatory settled the busmess. They r^oiaiued in 
the bar; and Valsntine, with appropriate solemnity^ enquired. if Broad- 
ddes were really very bad when he retumed. 

^* As sober as a judge, sir !" replied that gentleman. 

^^ Qood gracious !" exclaimed the lady, as Broadades left the bar to 
look after a boBfld*chicken< . '^How can you say that, when you know 
that you were as tipsy as tipsy could be ?" 

*^ Wdl," cried Yidentine, throwing his voice immediately, bebind 
Mrs. Bioad^dea, '* that's a good bne.*^ 

The lady^ on the instant, wheetod round, expecting, of course, to see 
some person there ; but, as this expectation was by no means realized, 
she feh, in- some slisbt dmee, alannidd, and looked very mysterious, 
and then turned to Valentme, of whom she enquired if he had heard 
that extraoidinary remark. 

Valentine, who seemed to be reading most intently^ took no appar- 
ent notice of this natural question, but added, with his eyes' still fixed 
upon the paper^-**^ I intended it for you. It could reach no fartber. 
Why, I ask, axe you a scold ?" 

The tones in which this observaltion was made bore, in the judgment 
of Mrs. B^Midsides,' some resemblance to those of the voice of the waiter, 
who happened to be' standing a short distance firom the bar, countii^ hii 
money again and again,, sotatchiAg his head with great violeooe^ and 
endeavouring to recollect whether two very hungiy individnala^ wbo 
had consumed nine chbpe and six kidneys the previous nigbi^ bad, in 
reality, paid hun or not. 

^What's that you say, sur?'' enquired the lady, with a sharpness 
which quite confused all his calculations. 

*^ Me, mum!" cried thd waiter, turning round with great velocity, 
^^ / did'nt speak, mum." 



TAiBirnNB vox. 195 

'' You did speak I I hMid you, iir ! Let me have no more of your 
impertinent^, I beg/' 

Tbia Walter felt eonftiBed. He oonldn't understand it I He twisted 
his napkin and swung it under his arm with great eneigy of mind ; but 
he coiiid not unravel tKe mystery at all. He did, however, eventually 
venture td observe thai, upon his soul, he had nefver opened his lips. 

** How date you," cAed the lady, ^teUme that wicked firisriiood, 
when I heard you as plain as " 

'' No ! yon heard me, mum V eried YiJentine, ikio^Rring his Toioe 
wKh reprehensible dezteritjr into the mouth of the waiter. 

^ Don't I say so!* continued the lady, ^^Iknowit was yon, and 
yet you have the impudence to tell me to my fitoe, that upon your soul 
you didn't open your lips r 

** No more I did ! 'twasn't me !*' ciied the Waiter, whose Mood really 
began to bubble up. 

**If it wasnt you. who was it then, strt Thai si what /want to 
know!'' cried the lady ; but the waiter ooddn't tett her« H0'k>oked 
extremely ^usaded, and so did his mistress, who at length iNlgah ta \i&- 
fieve that it ooiddn't have been him, and whila^ vnth thelff moikhs -wid^ 
open, they were giving each other a lingMtng' lo<»k;- whMcjdaafy so- 
nified that it mu^ have been some one; V^alentiiie,^ who. seemed to be 
still itttent upon the paper, entd in a d&bp hollow Toice, whiish appeared 
to recede gradnaOy — ^^ Farewell ! treat him better. He's kind to you : 
be kind to him !" >....— 

Now, whether the tendeir conscience of the lady was pieced by thesi^ 
pointed remarks : whether she felt it impossible to iMat^ BroaUdsi 
better, or was anxious to keep him in a blissM state «f ignorance of 
bett^ treatment, having thus been enjefaied, a liberal and highly lenlight* 
ened pubHo will in aU probability be able to guess, on being infemed 
that not a syllable having reference to the mystery vras breathed HiCtt 
Mr. Broadsides returned to the baar. It was, however^ easy lO'peveei^ 
that an impreesicii had been made upon the mind of the lady, K^ albeit 
she appeared to be thoughtful and gloomy, her tone was oonsidMably 
changed, wheti in reply to Mr. BroMbides eiH{uii7,«as to whether sh^ 
hitended to go with this girk to tiie feir, ihe Said-*^^ Well, dear, 1 don't 
much csHfOif I do."* ' » ....-, ,^ ,....,. / 

^^That's right, my good giH l** tocUdined Bioadsidei^ absolutely electric 
fied. ^'I lovo the old woman when she's pleasant and happy t" and 
he re#aided her at once with aemacking kiss^ which might have 
been heaid iii the mid^ lif A seoftn: • - t ' 

Bxtty^ siiiclthe l*dy, *h<iw long shall you be gohe f'' ♦ 
Oh, tiot -abov^ a couplo of hours ; but dosCi waiit foi<me; run away 
now and tuPn^ ydiiraelf tidy, and gb off a% bncob 111 make it aU right 
befere I leave.— *^I\n going dOWn to thd' docks;" he continued, addrw- 
ing Talentiife. ^^Yoti nevei^wtoe ther^ I suppose? What liay you? 

you may just lid well tiin down with Hie.** ' 

Valentin^ cotisente^j Mrs. -BroadsMeir left- the bar; and the wmter, 
who had evideiitly not got quite ove* it, bought in the tray. 



cc 



.«^ 1< 



196 LiFB aud abtxntures of 

'^That's the best wife in the world," obeerred Bioadaidee, ''that of 
mine. It is true, there ain't none on us perfect, but if she could but 
get over that temper of hem, sir, she'd be perfection, and not a ha'porth 
&s." 

'^ But you were of course tipsy last evening V said Valentuie. 
'' Why as to the matter of that, perhaps f was, you see, a little bit 
sprung, — I don't deny it ; I might have been a small matter so, but, 
lorl that makes no odds in the least. I've been married now two-aud- 
twenty year, and I don't suppose that during that period of time I ever 
came home drunk, or sober, without being, according to the old woman's 
reckoning, a beast. But lor ! practice makes perfwt, and use is second 
natur. She has done it so long, that she has brought the thing at last 
to such perfection, that I railly shouldn't feel myself quite at home 
without it. But she's a worry good sort; and you know there's 
always something ; and the best thmg a man can do, Tk not to look at 
either the dark or the bright side alone, but to mix 'em up together, 
and see then what a sort of a colour they produce. They say that 
white is the union of all colours, and depend upon it, woman is the 
same. They're, in the lump, the union of all that s good and bad ; yet 
the miztur you see is so particular pretty, that we can't get on at all 
without loving 'em, no how." 

Valentine agreed with this practical philosophy, and in due'course 
of time, which was not inconsiderable, Mrs. Broadsides descended full- 
dressed — ^not indeed in an aristocratic sense, for in that sense the term 
*' fuU-dressed" may signify, when interpreted, the state of being nearly 
half naked ; but in a really legitimate sense full-dressed, swelled out to 
an enormous extent at every point ; and as she was an extremely stout 
lady, and rather tall for her age, which fluctuated at that interesting 
period of her existence, between forty-five and sixty, her toui emenMe 
was particularly fascinating — a fact of which she appeared to be by no 
means unconscious. She sported, on the occasion, a lilac satin dress, 
vrith four full twelve-inch flounces, which were delicately edged with 
crimson fringe, a yeUow velvet shawl, striped with crimson, to match 
the iringe of the flounces, and trimmed with bright emerald bullion ; 
a pink-and-blue bonnet of extraordinary dimensions, with a bouquet 
of variegated artificiab on one side, and a white ostrich plume tipped 
with scarlet on the other ; and a long white veil, sweetiy flowered all 
over, and so arranged as to form a sort of festooned curtain, which hung 
about tax inches over the front. Nor will it be improper to speak of 
the jewellenr, with which certain points of her person were adorned, 
for she had on a pair of really Brobdignagian ear-drops studded 
with Lilliputian spangles, an elegant mother o' pearl necklace with a 
cross attached in front ; a massive gold chain, which hung completely 
over her shoulders, and which communicated with an immense gold 
chronometer on one side of her waist, and on the other to an extraordi- 
nary bunch of about a dozen seals of all sorts and sizes; an eye-glaas 
attached to a chain made of hair, which enabled it to bang dovm in 
front quite as low as her knees ; an average of three rings on each 
-"irticular finger of each particular hand,' and a scent bottle adorned 



TALBNTINB VOX. 197 

"with a chased gold top, which peeped for a breath of air jast out of her 
heaving bosom. Thns equipped, she had a small glass of brandy-and- 
water warm, ^and when the two young ladies had pronounced them- 
selves ready, Valentine submitted a glass of wine to each, and then 
handed them elegantly into a decent hackney coach, the driver of which 
had engaged to take them there and bring them back for twelve shillings 
and two drops of something to drink. 

'^ Now," said Mr. Broadsides, the moment they had started, ^^ we'll 
be off,'' and after having given certain instructions to his servants, he 
and Valentine walked to the stand, and got into a low sedan-chair sort 
of a cab, which, as Broadsides very justly observed, might have been 
kicked into very little bits if the horse had felt disposed to be handy 
with his hind legs. They sat, however, in the most perfect safety, for 
they happened to be behind one of those poor devoted animals which 
have not more than half a kick in them, albeit in the space of half an 
hour he brought them to the entrance of the London Docks. 

^* Well, here we are,*' said Broadsides, as they passed through the 
gates, at which certain official individuaJs were looking with peculiar 
suspicion at every person who passed out. **' Them are the sarchers 
which saroh all the labourers afore they go home, which I don't Hke the 
principle o^ 'cause it is treating them all just as if they was thieves." 

^^ And I suppose by that means they are kept honest V observed 
Valentine. 

** Why 1 des-say it keeps a good many from stealing ; but that's 
altogether a different thing you know from keeping 'em honest. Ho- 
nesty's honesty all over the world. If a man has the inclination to steal, 
he ain't a ha'porth the honester 'cause he can't do it. That's my senti* 
ments." 

*' I suppose that, notwithstanding, there is a great deal of smuggling 
going forward I" 

*' 1 believe you ! The men does a pretty goodish bit in that way ; 
but the women are by fax the most regkrest devils, 'cause, you see, 
them at the gate can't so easily detect 'em. They wind long bladders, 
filled with spirits, round their bodies to such an extent you'd be sur- 
prised. But they can't smug quite so much away at a time now, 
'cause in consequence you see of the alteration of the fashion. But 
when the balloon sleeves and weny large bustles were in wogue, they 
oonld manage to walk away gallons at a time." 

" Indeed !" said Valentme, *' but how ?" 

^^ Why, you see, independent of the bladders which they wound werry 
comfortably round 'em, they could stow away nearly half a gallon in 
each sleeve, for as them sort of sleeves required something to make 'em 
stand out, they werry natterally fancied that they might just as well 
have the buleers blown out with rum and brandy as with air, so all 
they had to do was to strap their little water-proo& carefully round 
their arms, and their sleeves look as fashionable as life ; and then, as for 
their bustles, why that you know, of course, was werry easily managed, 
for they bad but to tie their big bulgers with different compartments 
round thor waists, and they could stow away a gallon of stuff any 



198 LIFE AMD ADTBIITUIIBS OF 

hour in the cby, and then walk through the gates with it hanging on 
l)ehind, just as natteral as clock-work." 

Yalentine smiled ; but Broadsides hraghed so loudly at the idea, that 
his promsB was for a very considerable time impeded. He did, how- 
ever, aSter haying blown out his cheeks with great vehemence to che^ 
the current of his mirth, succeed in regaining the power to waddle on- 
wards. ^' There,'' said he, stoppiuff at the wmdow of one of the little 
shops which are let to certain merchants who deal in ship's stores, and 
^iirecting the attention of Yalentine to a row of little canisters, labelled 
.'' Boast Beef;" '' Beef and Yegefcables^" &o., '' That there's the stuff to 
make your hair eurl I That* s the sort of tadde to take out on a lone 
woyage ! There's a pound on it smashed into about a sq[uare inch. ' <X 
course the merest mite on it will fill a man's belly. He can't starve any 
how, so long as he's got a quarter of an inch of that in him. But come, 
we must keep on moving, you know, or we sha'n't get half over the busi- 
ness to-day." 

'* Are those empty V enquired Yalentine pointing to several hundred 
oasks whicli were lyinff to the left of the entranoe. 

*^ Empty I Full of wme, sir — full, sir, eveiy man jack on 'em. But lor ! 
that's notlung to what you'll see below. Why they've giot inlhewault 
about a hun£ed thousimd pipes; and the rent, if we awerage'em atfive 
and twenty shillings a-year a-pieoe^ will be something like a hundred 
and twenty-five thousand pounds, while the walue, if we take 'em aQ 
round at five and forty pound a pipe, will be nearly five million of 
m6ney !— five million, sir ! What do you think of that ?" 

Yalentine thou^t it enormous, and said so ; and Broadsides expressed 
his opinion, that England could never be conquered, so long as she pos- 
sessed such an immense stock of wine. *^ What," said he, "^ has made 
the British nation so ^orions ? What has made our generals and ad- 
mirals so wictorious ? \Vine, sir, wine, and nothing biit wine ! Wine^ 
sir I— as sound as a nut. That's my sentiments;" and the eloquence with 
which thoee sentiments were delivered, threw him into such a i^te of 
penpiration, that he stood at the entrance of the vault for some con*- 
aiderable time with his hat o£^ in order to wipe himsdf dry. 

*^ Liffhts 1" shouted a man, as they eventually descended; and two 
very ouy individuals fired the wicks of two jcircular lamps, which were 
stuck upon sticks about two feet long ; one of which it was the custom 
to give to each person to cany in his hand round the vault. Broadsides 
then drew forth some papers, and bavins arranged them to his own satis- 
fiMtion and that of the clerk in attendance, a cooper was called, who 
conducted them at once into the faa-ieaned. place which contained, ac- 
cording to Broadsides^ a hundred thousand pipes of the essence of Gbeai 
Bntams^oiy. 

Yalentme was for some time unable to see any thing distinctly, hut the 
lamps, which were stationed in various parts of the vault, and which 
burned very dull and very red; but Broadndes who had long been aoena- 
tomed to liie place, was not nearly so much affected by the gloom. ** I 
say," said he, holding up the lamp he had in his hand, ^ only look at tbe 
fungus!" and Yalentme saw, 8uq>ended from the aiohee^ huge 



TAIiENTIlfE VOX. 199 

of cobweb, which had the appearance of fine black wool. Some of these 
cobwebs weie hanging in festoons from point to point, about as thick as 
a man's leg, while others hung in bunches about the size of a man's 
bod J, and formed altogether an extraordinary mass of matter, which 
certain learned members of the British Association would do well to 
examine with appropriate minuteness, with the praiseworthy view of 
reporting thereon at the next merry meeting. 

^' How much of this rail is there down in the wault V enquired 
Broadsides, of the cooper, as he pointed to the iron plates which were 
planted along the middle of each avenue, for the purpose of rolling the 
casks with focility. 

*^ Nine-and-twenty mile," replied the cooper. 

^^ Twenty-nine miles !*' cried Valentine in amazement. 

*^ Nine-and-twenty mile, sir ; and 111 be bound to say there ain't a 
foot over or imder. Here we shall find them," he continued on reach- 
ing the arch under which were some of the wines that Mr. Broadsides 
wished to taste ; and while the cooper was looking for the particular 
casks, Broadsides called the attention of Valentine to one of the venti- 
lators. ^^ There's a glorious battle !'' said he, ^' did you ever behold 
Buch a shindy? It's the foul air fighting with the fresh. One yon 
see wants to come in, and the other one wants to get out : neither on 
'em seems inclined to wait for the other, and thus they go on con- 
tinally at it in that state of mind, you see, world without end." 

** This is No. 1," said the cooper, at this moment bringing an al^ 
glass full of wine. 

l^roadsides took the glass by its foot, and held it up to the light, and 
then shook it a little, and spilt about half, and then smelt it, and 
turned up his nose, and then tasted it, and spurted it out again, and 
having made up an extraordinary &ce, he proceeded to blow out his 
cheeks to an extent which made it appear that he might at that time 
have had in his mouth a remarkable couple of overgrown codlings. 
^That won't do at no prke," sud he, after a time, ^^just walk into 
Slk," and a glass of No. 6, was accordingly drawn, and when he had 
ahaken it and smelt it, and tasted it as before, he pronounced the whole 
lot to be ^^ pison." 

*'*' I suppose," obeerved Valentine, while Broadsides was occupied in 
bringing his mouth into shape, 'Hhat you frequently make persons 
tipsy down here ?" 

** They frequently make theirselves tipsy," replied the cooper. 
** when they come down to look and not to buy, you know^to swill 
and not to taste. There was yesterday, for instance, three young 
bloods came in with an order to taste five and twenty quarter casks, and 
mae enough they did taste 'em. They made me tap every cask, and 
ewallowed every glass that I drawed, and when I'd gone right clean 
ihiotngh 'em, they tried to overpersuade me to b^n the lot again at 
the begimiing. Now, there ain't above four of these 'ere to a pint, so 
they couldn't have taken in less than three bottles a-piece. I warned 
'em of the consequence, for I saw they knew nothing at all about it, 
bat the fact was, they came for a swill, and a swill they most certainly 



200 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

had. They didn't, however, feel it any great deal down heie, but 
pre-haps they didn't when they got out ! I knew how it'd be, so I 
went up the steps just to watch them, and lor I directly they smelt 
the fresh air, and saw the light of the blessed heayen, they all began 
to reel just like so many devils. I thought that bang into the dock 
go they must, and if they'd only seen the water, in of course they 
would have soused, for they ran right bust against everything they 
tried to avoid." 

^^ Then persons don't feel it much while they are down here ?" ob- 
served Valentine. 

*^ No," replied the cooper, '' very seldom unless they happen to 
have bad a glass of ale before they come down, and then they just 
do if they drink at all any ways freely. The other day, now, a 
lushington of this kind came in with two others, and I attended 'em ; 
and when they had tasted, and tasted, and tasted until I thought 
they'd all drop down dead drunk together, tliis gent slipped away, and 
his friends very natterly &ncied that, finding his stomach a little out of 
order, he'd started off home, and as I couldn't see him no where about, 
why, I natterly &ncied so too ; but the next mominff just as I went 
into No. 5, north, for a sample, who should I see, but this identical 
indiwidual sitting in the sawdust with his head upon a pipe as com- 
fortable as a biddy, and snoring away like a trooper. I woke him of 
course, and he got up as fresh as a daisy ; but in order to avoid all row, 
you see, I made him keep behind till a party came in, and he slipped 
out with them without any body knowing a bit about the matter. 

" I presume you don't drink much yourselves?" observed Valentine. 

*' Why, that, you see, depends upon circumstances. The old hands 
douH : the smell's enough for them ; but the new and worry green 
uns are contini/y sucking like infrmto. It's a long time before sich 
as them can be weaned. It was only the Saturday night before last, 
that one of this sort got locked down. We didn't know a word about 
the matter, and the vault wasn't of course going to be opened again 
before Monday ; but he got pretty sober in me course of Sunday morn- 
ing, and after having spent a few happy hours at the grating, he gave a 
wiew holler to one of the outside watchmen, who sent for Uie key, and 
got him out very quietly. But it cured him. I don't believe he has had 
so much as a suck since then." 

*' Well, come," said Broadsides, ^* now I am here, let's see how my 
extra-particular get's on." 

This happenea to be under the opposite arch, and while the cooper 
was in it with Broadsides, Valentine, who was looking very intently 
at some cobwebs, perceived a tall dark figure march past him in a 
manner which struck him as being extremely mysterious. He was 
angry, very angry with himself for being startled, although he couldn't 
help it ; and after having reproached himself severely in consequence, he 
walked to the opposite arch. ^' A tall person passed just now," said 
lie to the cooper. " Who was it ?" 

'' One of the watchmen. They walk in and out in the dark to see 



TALENTIME VOX. 201 

ihat no indiwidual pajrs twice. There's lots on 'em about. You'll see 
him again by'n bye." 

" Very well," thought Valentine, " if I do, I'll startle Atm," and 
while the cooper was oroaching the extra-particular, he looked round 
4he vault with an anxious eye. 

^^ Now then,'' said Broadsides, handing him a glass, '^ just tell me 
now what you think of that" 

Valentine tasted, and found it so splendid, that he almost uncon- 
sciously finished the glass. 

''That's something like, ain't it? That's what I call wine! It's 
as sound as a nut. Ijet's have another glass," and another glass was 
drawn, and while Broadsides was smeUing it, and shaking it, and 
spilling it, and tasting it, and spurting it over the saw dust, and making 
it go through all sorts of manoeuvres, the watchman passed aeain. 

*' Hu$hr* cried Valentine throwing his voice among the ca&s, which 
were near him. '' He's here !" 

The watdiman stood perfectly still. He wonld scarcely allow him- 
jself to breathe. He was a man who reflected upon the imaginary re- 
hearsal of his actions— an extremely cautious man, and liis name was 
Job Scroggins. Instead therefore of rushing like a fool to the spot, 
he, with admirable tact, held up his hand to enjoin silence, and tried 
with great optical energy to pierce the extremely dense gloom of the 
vault. This he found to be impracticable. All was dark, pitch-dark, 
in the direction from which the voice appeared to proceed. Nothing 
oonld be distinguished. Twenty men might have been drinking there 
onpeiceived. Scroggins therefore having formed his plan of attack, 
said in a delicate whisper to the cooper, '' If you stand here, we 
ahall nab 'em," and crept very stealthily round to the opposite side of 
the aich. 

Now this was precisely what Valentme wanted. He wished but to 
excite the suspicion of the watchman that persons were having a clan- 
destine treaty to enable him to keep up the game. Job Scroggins bad 
therefore no sooner got round than Valentine sent a fiunt whisper very 
near him, the purport of which was tiiat Harry was a fool not to get 
behind the casks. 

'' HaUo /" shouted Scroggins in a voice of thunder, on hearing the 
&int expression of that affectionate sentiment. 

*' Oet behind ! get behind 1" cried Valentine, '' we shall be caught !" 

" Hallo !" again shouted Job Scroggins with all the energy at fais 
command. '' What ate you about there ? D'ye hear !" 

'' Hush !" said Valentine, '' hush I not a word.'' 

'' I hear you, my rum 'uns ! Come out of tiiat, will you I Here 
Jones 1" 

^ Hallo !" shouted Jones. '' What d'ye want V 

''Come here!" cried Scrogsins. "Here, quick! — No. 9! — Well 
nab you, my lushingtois I — Wil find you out !" and he tore away a 
stout piece of scan&ng, while Broadsides handed the glass of wine to 
Valentiiie, and tucked up his sleeves to assist in the caption. 

" Now then," cried Jones, who had been engaged in the fortification 



202 LIFE AND ADTENTURES OF 

of two pipes of port, and whose nose glowed with ineflectiud Sse. 
« What's the row r 

^' Here's a lot of fellows here," replied Scroggins, *^ swilling away at 
the wine like devils." 

^' Where ?*' cried the fiery-nosed cooper with extraoidinaiy fierce- 
Bess. 

** Here I" shouted Scroggins. " Lights ! lights !" 

" What's the matter ? Uallo !" cried two Toices in the distance. 

^' Here ! Nine ! Lights ! lights I*' reiterated Scroggins, who ap 
peared to he in a dreadful state of excitement just then. 

*^ All safe now. Lie still,'' said Valentine throwing his voice he- 
hmd a lot of quarter casks which stood to the left of Job Scroggins. 

^' Ah, ycu'io safe enough !" exclaimed Job, in a tone of bitter irony. 
^' Pray don'u alann your blessed selves ! you're quite safe — to be 
nabbed in loss than no time. Now then there, look alive— now, quick !" 
he continued, as two additional coopers approached the spot with lights. 
'* If you get away now, my fine fellows, why, may I be blowed. There, 
you go behind there, and you stand here, and you keep a sharp look 
out there. Now then, if they escape, we'll forgive 'em !" 

Having stationed the coopers with lamps in their hands at various 
ports of toe arch. Job Scroggins stole gently between two distinct rows 
of pipes, and Valentine, wishmg to renckr all the assistance in his power, 
preceded him. Just, however, as he had reached the darkest part of 
the arch, he cried, in an assumed voice of course, ^' Let's drown him/' 
and threw the glass of vrine he held in his hand over his head so dex- 
terously, that the whole of it went into the fiice of Mr. Scroggins, 
who was looking about behind in a state of anxiety the most intense. 

''Here they are! Here are the thieves!" shouted Scroggins, 
wiping his wine- washed face with the sleeve of his coat. '' Look out 
there ! — look out !" and he rushed past Valentine with great indigna- 
tion, and peered with considerable fierceness of aspect into every cavity 
sufficiently large to admit the tail of a consumptive rat. 

''Hush!" cried Valentine, sending his voice right a-head; and 
away went Soroggins to the spot from which the whisper appeared to 
proceed, while the coopers were looking about vrith great eagemessi 
expecting every moment to see the thieves rise. 

" Quiet, Harry ! quiet ! They'U catch us," whispered Valentine. 

" Catch you !" cried Scroggins, " to be sure we shall 1" And he poked 
his stick with infinite violencebetween the casks, and rattled it about vrith 
consummate desperation, and looked /-^as the lamp was beneath his 
wine-stained face, it imparted so ghastly a hue to his featmes, that 
really he looked like a fiend. 

" Ha ! ha ! ha! ha !" cried Valentine, merrily sending his voice ri^t 
under the arch adjoining. 

Away went Job Scroggins backed up by the coopers, who atmck 
their ihins cleverly against the comer casks, and stumbled cvvr tlie 
scaatling, one after the other with infinite presence of mind. 

" Away, away !" shouted Valentine, throwing his voice towards the 
wpoi they had just left; and Job Scroggins rushed baok with the 



VALENTINE TOX. 203 

coopers at his tail, of whom tbe whole were inspired with the spirit of 
vengeance. 

^' Stand there ! *' shouted Scroggins ; " they mnst pass that way !'' 
and he poked his thick stick between the casks again desperately, and 
flourished it about with unparalleled zeal. 

^' It's all up with uSy Harry : we're blocked right in," whispered 
Valentine despairingly. ** Forgive us !" he added m a different voice, 
as if Harry had tesMy become very much alarmed — '* Forgive us ! 
we'll do so no more : have mercy ! " 

Mercy / If there be in tbe English language one word which tends 
more than another to soften a truly British heart, that word is beyond 
question, Mercy. There is magic in the sound of that soft soothing 
word. A true EngUshnnans sympathies swell when it is breathed, and 
his anger is strangled by that string of benevolence, which he winds with 
pride round his compassionate heart. Tears of blood, flow they never 
so freely, are not more effectual in cutting the throat of vengeance, 
than the magical sound of this beautiful word, for the moment it 
strikes on the drum of the ear, the spirit of Ate is kicked from the 
soul, and benevolence rises great, glorious and free in loveliness, even 
surpassing itself. About this it is clear there can't be two opinions ; 
and hence, none can marvel, that when the word reached the soft sen« 
sitive ear of the true-hearted Scroggins, he should have exclaimed with 
all the fervour of which he was capable : — ^* Mercy ! Mercy ? — You 
don't have a squeak I** 

" Come out I '^ he continued ; '^ you guzzling vagabones ! — ^mercy 
indeed ! — with a hook !" 

" We have not drank a great deal," said Valentine imploringly. " We 
haven't indeed. You shaU have it all back if you will but forgive us." 

Scroggins smiled a sardonic smile. 

^^ This is how the wine goes," said Mr. Broadsides. 

*^ And then we get's bio wed up sky-high for the 'flciency,'' added 
the fiery-nosed cooper. 

^*' Now then ! are you coming out or not ? " shouted Scroggins. 

Valentine sent forth a laugh of defiance, which caused the heaving 
bosom of Scroggins to swell with the essence of wrath. He might 
have been somewhat subdued by humility, although that was 
not extremely probable then — still he might by such means have been 
softened ; but when he reflected on the monstrous idea of being defied! 
he couldn't stand it ! he would't stand it ! He flew to the spot from 
which the laugh had apparently proceeded, and struck the surrounding 
tsasks with peculiar indignation. 

*' Will yon come out or not," he exclaimed, *^ before I do you a mis- 
chief?" 

•' No," shouted Valentine. 

^' Then take the sconsequence," cried Scroggins, vrho looked at that 
moment remarkably fierce. ^'Now then," he continued, addressing 
tine coopers, ^' we'll give 'em no quarter : we'll have no more parley : 
we'll drag 'em out now, neck and eels !" 

Previously, however, to the effectual accoraplishmont of this ex- 



I 



204 LIPS AND ADYBNTURBS OF 

tremely kudable object, it was obviously and absolutely neeeesary to 
find them — a remarkable fact, which struck Scroggins and the coopers 
with such consummate force, that they set to worK at once, with the 
▼iew of effecting this highly important preliminary, and displayed aa 
amount of zeal, which really did them great credit. 

*^ They're somewhere about here, I know,'* observed the fiery-nosed 
cooper. 

" Oh, we shall find 'em ! well have 'em ! " cried Scrqggina ; ** and 
when we do catch 'em, they'll know it ! " 

The hieMy sarcastic tone in which these words were uttered, was 
clearly indicative of something very desperate ; and as the coopers, who 
were beginning to get very impatient, were running round the arch 
with unparallded energy, Yalentine, nnperceived, threw the glass he had 
had in his hand upon a pOe of pipes under tiie gloomy arch opposite^ 
and immediately cried : " There's a fool I now we can't get another 
drop." 

^' Here they are !" shouted Scroggins, on hearing the crash. '* Now 
then, boys ! hurrah ! we shall naiPem ! " 

This soul-stirring speech put the coopers on theur mettle, and they 
rushed towards the arch with unprecedented spirit; but before they 
reached the spot in which the broken glass was lyings Yalentine — who 
did not exactly comprehend the precise meaning of the words : <^now 
we'll nail 'em," albeit he fSemcied, that if poor unhappy persons had 
really been there, they would have stood a fiiir chance of being mer* 
eilessly hammered — cried ^^Now let us start: we can get no more 
wine! " 

*' Stop there, you vagabones !" cried Scroggins, vebemently, thinking 
to frighten tliem out of their wits. '' We are cocksure to catch you, 
you know ! You may just as well give up at once !" 

They had now reached the spot in which the glass lay smashed into a 
really extraordinary number of little pieces. " Here we have hocklar 
demonstration," he continued : " Here's where the vagabones was." 

•* Stoop doWn," whispered Yalmtine. 

** Come oiUl" cried Scroffffins. " It's o' no use you know; we see 
you!" An observation whi^, how laudable soever its object might 
have been, involved a highly reprehensible fidsehood. 

" Now then ! — crawl gently," whispered Valentine.—" Come on !" 

Scroggins leaped over the pipes in an instant, and looked round and 
round with an expression of surprise. 

« Have you got 'em ?" enquind the fiery-nosed cooper. 

" Got 'em !" echoed Scroggins, " I ony just wish I had, for thdr 
sakes. I 'stablish a trifle or two in theur mem'ries to sarve 'em for 
life. I'll warrant they wouldn't forget it a one while." 

Valentine now sent a slight laugh so very near the legs of Mr. Scrog- 
gins, that that gentleman spun round with the velocity of a cockchafer, 
and felt very angry indeed with himself when he reflected that the 
*^ Lushingtons" still were at large. ^ Where can they be crept to V be 
cried, in amazement. ^^ They're not a yard from me, and yet — why 
where the " 



VALBNTIMB VOX. 205 

^' There's no room for two men to hide their bodies here,*' observed 
the fiery-nosed cooper. 

'^ They must be particular small," said Mr. Broadsides. 

*' They must be particular active/* said Scroggins ; and Valentine sent 
another laugh yery near him. 

Job Scrogsins looked savage — undoubtedly savage ! He shook his 
red head with extreme desperation, and ground his ereat teeth vnth 
maniacal zeal. ^' Where can they be hid ?*' he exchumed, vnth great 
emphasis. ^' Blister 'em ! Where can the scoundrelB be got to ?" 

tie paused for a reply, and fixed his eyes upon his companions, and 
his companions fixed their eyes upon him, wmle Broadsides scratched 
his head with his right hand, and rubbed his chin very mysteriously 
with his left. 

At thb interesting moment an intelligent cooper, who had thereto- 
fore searched without uttering a syllable, ventured to offer a rational 
suggestion, the purport of which was, that they certainly must be 
somewhere. 

^^ Somewhere !" cried Scroggins, very angrily : *' We know they must 
be somewhere; but where is that somewhere? That's the grand 
pint !" 

The intelligent cooper, who offered this suggestion, was silent, for he 
saw that Mr. Scroggins looked ready to eat him : and Scroggins was a big 
man, and had an excessively carnivorous aspect. Silence was, there- 
fore, a species of wisdom, which the litUe intelligent cooper displayed, 
and the search was resumed with increased perseverance. 

But Valentine himself now became somewhat puzzled. He scarcely 
knew how to proceed. He was anxious to send the invirible ^' Lush- 
ingtons" off with ecku, but the question was, how could he get them 
away ? While, therefore, the watchman and the coopers were hunting 
about in all directions, poking their sticks into every kind of cavity, 
asking themselves all sorts of queer questions, and answering themselves 
in all sorts of queer ways, he was quietly conceiving a design to cany 
into immediate execution, with the view of thickemng the mystery in 
which they were involved. He had not, however, to puzade himself 
long, for, being blessed with an exceedingly vivid imagination, he had 
but to give it rail swing for a time, and a host of ideas would dart across 
his bram with about the velocity of lightning ; and, although it occa- 
sionally happened that they rushed in so vrildly, and upset each other 
so wantonly, and caused so much confusion, that he was really com- 
pelled, in self-defence, to kick them all out together ; in this particular 
instance they entered in the most orderly manner possible, and, after 
playing at leap-frog clean down each other's throats, the most powerful 
remained, having swallowed all the rest ; and that Valentine seized by 
the coUar at once, with the view of making it perform that particnkr 
office for which it had been created. This was, however, a desperate 
idea, it being no other than that of introducing his voice into one of the 
pipes of wine, in order to see how Job Scroggins and his companions 
would act; but Valentine, resolved not to repudiate it in consequence of J 

its desperate character, held it firmly, and just as the energetic Job, 



206 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

after runnijig round Mid round with gtmi fieioenesa of aspect, and vow* 
ing the most extraordinary species of vengeance, had paused to regain 
a little breath, and to wipe the perspiration from his &ce, with the 
cuff of his bob-tailed coat, he pitchjed his voice dexterously into an 
extremely old cask and cried, ^^ Wasn't it lucky we found this one 
empty, eh V* 

Job Scroggins stared; and so did old Broadsides, and so did the 
fiery-nosed cooper ; and they drew near the cask from which the sound 
had apparently- proceeded, and hstened again with an expressioQ of 
amazement. 

^ Keep in the head,'' whispered Valentine, very audibly. 

^^ They're here !" shouted Scroggins, snatching an adze ftom the 
fiery-nosed cooper. ^^ Look out I — now they're nailed !*' and without 
a single moment's reflection, without considering whether the cask were 
fiill or empty, without even giving the slightest notice to those who 
were with him, he smashed in the head of the pipe, and the wine, of 
course, rushed out in torrents. 

^' You fool !" cried the fiery-nosed cooper, as the stream dadied the 
lamps from their hands, and extinguished the lights. 

**• Help ! help !" shouted Scroggins. 

^* Silence, you om / hold your tongue !" cried the fiery-nosed cooper. 
" Hoist the cask up on end ! — Now ! — Stick to it ! •— Now ! — All 
together ! — Hurrah !" 

In an instant the thins w& accomplished, for Valentine, who was 
really very sorry for what liad happened, put forth with the rest all the 
strength at his command. 

*^ Now, don't make a noise," said the fiery-nosed cooper; *^ get a 
Ught from the lamp, there, — quick I" And Scroggins, who was then 
in a dreadfrd state dT mind, groped his way at once out of the arch, 
while the rest were, of course, in total darkness, and up to their ankles 
in wine. It was not, however, long before Scro^ins returned, and 
when he did, the very first question asked was, — ^' What cade is it t'* 

^ All rieht : — all right T said the fiery^nosed co<^r, after having 
examined it miimtely. *' It's one of them old una that's been here so 
long." 

*' What, one of them three I" cried his comrade. ^' Well, that's 
werry lucky as &r as it goes. It '11 never be cleared. It was only 
t'other day I was saying that I'd bet any money the wanants was 
lost." 

*' Come, that's most fortunate," thought Valentine. 

'* But what are we to do ?" cried the greatly alarmed Scroggins. 
** How are we to hide it? — There's such a rare lot on it spOt !" 

*' Now don't make no noise," said his fiery-nosed friend : '* 111 cooper 
it up, and you get aU the sawdust you can, — now be handy ! It's an 
awful puddle, snrdiy ; but the sawdust 11 soon suck it up." And he 
began to repair the cask, while the rest were engaged in sending saw- 
diut together and mixing it up with the wine, and then throwing it, 
when it became perfectly saturated, imder the scantling to dry. 

By dint of great labour, — for all, including Broadsides, who pufibd 




■^^Twllir^ 



'.A.'...r.AA/,..i>M>-:-- 



VALENTINE VOX. 207 

away frightfully, assisted, — in the space of twenty minutes the pool 
became pretty well absorbed; and as the fiery-nosed cooper had by 
that time completed his job, the pipe was carefally placed upon the 
scantling again, and when more fresh sawdust had been strewn over the 
spot, the place looked ao much as if nothing had happened, that it 
might even then have been passed unnoticed. 

" Well," cried Scroggins, *' it's well it isn't no worse ; but if I'd 
ony ha' caught them ^re warmint, whoever they are, if I wouldn't 
have sarved ^m out, blister 'em, blow me !" 

" But did you ever hear of such a fool," observed the fiery-nosed 
cooper, " to smash in the head of a pipe, when he knew we hadn't got 
an empty cask in the place?" 

" Why, you see," said Mr. Scroggins, in extenuation, " I did n't 
then give it a thought. It was a maa go ; I know it, — a werry mad 
go; but, you see, I was so savage, that I didn't know rayly what I 
did ; and I fancied I heercd the two wagabones inside." 

" And so did I," said his fiery-nosed mend ; " but then I know'd it 
couldn't be." 

" They must ha' been lehind that 'ere pipe," continued Scroggins, 
^* I'm sartain th^ must, and I ony just wish I'd ha' caught 'em, that's 
all ; if I wouldn t ha' given 'em pepper ! — may I never set eyes on my 
babbies again !" 

During this extremely interesting colloquy. Broadsides and Valentine 
were industriously occupied in wiping their sticky hands and faces, and 
making themselves sufficiently decent to pass without exciting special 
notice. They found this, however, a difficult job, for the wine had 
spurted over them freely ; but when they had carefully turned down 
their collars, and buttoned their coats so closely up to their chins that 
scarcely a particle of their deeply-stained shirts could bo perceived, it 
was unanimously decided that they might venture. 

" But you want to taste the other pipe of port, sir, don't you V* ob- 
served the cooper. 

** The stink of them lamps," replied Broadsides, " has spylt my 
taste for a fortnit : besides, I don't care a bit about it ; I only came to 
taste, what I wouldn't have at no price, them six pipes of pison." 

The business being therefore at an end, the fiery-nosed cooper polish- 
ed Valentine's boots with his apron, when Broadsides gave the men 
half-a-crovni to drink his health, and he and Valentine, — who gave 
them half-a-BOvereign, — were ushered very respectfully out of the vault, 
and after passing the gates without exciting more than ordinary atten- 
tion, got into a cab, and rode home. 



208 LIFE AND ADVENTURBS OF 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

▼ALSNTDCE BECOMES ACQUAINTED WITH A FRIGHTFUL CALAMITT, AND 
HAS A HEART-RENDING INTERVIEW ON THE SUBJECT WITH HORACE. 

There is a remarkable bit of sublimity — a powerful, pale, uniyezsal 
reflector, which is sometimes above us, and sometimes below us, and 
sometimes on a line precisely parallel with us — a reflector of which the 
composition is unknown, but which is ycleped by our sublunary philo- 
sophers — a moon. That this moon will be ever cut up into stars, may 
rationally, notwithstanding the idea originated with our own immortal 
Shakspeare, be doubted ; but there can oe no doubt that as it derives 
its pale lustre from the sun, so mankind in the aggregate derive their 
lus^ from money ; and albeit the connection between the moon and 
money may not at a glance be perceived, except, indeed, by superficial 
men of genius, and philosophers steeped to the very lips in learned mud, 
that there is a connection between them will be acknowledged by all, 
when they reflect upon the fact of the moon being silver by pre- 
scription. 

Now, money is said to be the devil ; and if it be, it is beyond all 
dispute an extremely pleasant devil, and one of which men are so 
ardently enamoured, that they absolutely worship it as if it were a god. 
No matter of what material this money may be composed — no matter 
whether it consists of precious metals, precious stones, or precious little 
bits of paper, for every convertible representative of money is equally 
precious, its accumulation and distribution in reality constitute the 
principal business of men's lives. Some despise it for a time ; they 
never despise it long : they soon suffer for the indulgence in that bad 
passion. Others will do anything, however dishonourable, to obtain it* 
if a man has money, he's all right ; if he has none, he is all wrong. It 
matters not what hermits and monks may say, if an honest man be poor, 
his fellow-men despise him ; while a wealthy villain, in the world's esti- 
mation, is a highly respectable member of society, and hence the penalty 
on poverty is greater than that which is attached to any absolute crime. 
Nor is this all, as the saying is ; nothing like all. It's astonishing the 
spirit of independence tibe possession of money inspires, and equally 
astonishing are the dejection and humility which the non-possession oif 
it induces. If a man has no money, his mind is ill at ease ; he cannot 
feel comfortable any how — ^it amounts to an absolute physical impossi- 
bility for him to hold up Jiis head like a man who has lots. He can't 
do it ! It's of no use to physic him with philosophy I AU the philo- 
sophy in the world is insufficient to cure his pecuniary disease. He 
can't understand your philosophy then, and he won't understand. He 
knows better. He knows that he has got no money I — a spedes of 
knowledge which affects alike body and souL And yet, notwithstand- 
ing money is so valuable — so precious, that its absence teems with 
misery and humiliation; notwithstanding it is so dear, so highly 



TALENTINU VOX. 209 

prized when it is wanted, that we will risk even our lives to obtain it, 
how thoughtlessly we waste it I how freely we squander it away, when 
it is gained, as if its possession inspired the belief, that we should never 
want another five-pound note so long as we had the ability to breathe ! 
Beyond all dispute — for there cannot exist two opinions on the subject 
— ^in this little matter a man is an ass. 

Now, all this is very profound, but Valentine really knew nothing 
about it. He only knew this, that in a pecuniary sense he was getting 
remarkably short, and that it became absolutely necessary to write to 
Uncle John for a fresh supply. A blessed position for a man to be 
placed in is that, in which he has but to say, '' I want so much,*' and 
80 much is sent, as a matter of course. Tiiis was precisely the position 
of Valentine ; but before he wrote home, he was anxious to see the 
Goodmans, in order to ascertain if they could, or would, give him any 
£irther information with respect to his benevolent old friend. 

Accordingly, on the morning of the day on which he intended to 
write to Uncle John, he set off for the residence of Walter, and was 
certainly somewhat startled on being unable to discover the house in 
which he had lived. On arriving at the spot where the house had stood, he 
could see but the foundation, and a few burnt beams ; but on making 
enquiries at a shop in the vicinity, he not only ascertained what had 
happened from a person who gave him a really heart-rending account 
of the occurrence, but was informed that Walter and his family were at 
that time lodging in a house directly opposite. Thither of course he 
immediately went, and having sent up his card, paced the parlour into 
which he had been shown with considerable anxiety ; for, possessing a 
heart in which the kindliest feelings of our nature had been implanted, 
he deeply sympathised with those of whose dreadful sufferings so fright- 
ful a picture had been drawn. He had not, however, dwelt upon the 
calamity long, when a person dashed into the room, and exclaimed, 
*' Hallo, my young trump ! don't you know me V 

Valentine in a moment knew the voice to be that of Horace ; but 
his person he certainly would not have known. *' Good God !" said he, 
grasping his hand, ^' is it possible ?" 

'^ It just is," cried Horace, *' and no mistake about it. Don*t I look 
a beauty, eh ? Did you ever see such a Guy ? But thank Heaven for all 
things," he continued, pulling off a large wig, and displaying his head, 
the black skin of which had just began to peel. '' It's a comfort no 
doubt, if you can but just look at the thing in the right light." 

^ And how is your father?" enquired Valentine. 

*' Why," replied Horace with great solemnity of aspect, '* he's as 
much like a jolly old cinder as possible. He's frizzled all up into one 
lump of coke. I'm rummy enough, but lor! he*s out and out! 
There's no mistake at all about him." 
But he's out of all danger, I hope ?" 

Oh I yes ; he's getting on like a brick. I thought he was booked 
though at one time, for of all the unhappy looking bits of black crack- 
ling ! — did you ever happen to see a smoked pig ? Because if you 
ever did, you have seen something like him. You wouldn't believe liim 

E E 






210 LIFE AND ADTENTURES OF 

to be flesh and blood. You wouldn't know him in hct from a jollj 
old piece of burnt cork. lie stood it, however, throughout, like a 
trump, and I'll back him after this against an7 regulu sahimander 
going." 

*' And the ladies, how are they V* 

" Why, they're only tolloUsh. You know what women are. They 
don't like the look of the governor at all, and certainly he don't look 
particularly fresh." 

*^ Well," said Valentine, rising, ^' I'm really very sorry for what has 
occurred, and if you think that I can be of service to you in any way, 
I hope you will command me. I'll not detain you now." 

<' I wish yon would, old boy," said Horace, with much earnestness. 
" You'd be doing me a very great favour. The fact is, our out-and- 
out old fool of a doctor won't let me have more than one glass of wine 
a day, which of course is particularly rotten, more especially now I'm 
getting all right again. But the old fool won't listen to reason ; nor 
will the two women, who are of course on his side, and who keep the 
blessed wine locked up, just as if body and soul oould be kept on 
decent terms with each other, by that nasty lush which he expects me 
to swallow by the pailful. Upon my soul, that little wretch of a boy, 
to whom he gives about two pence a month to carry out all his poison, 
is everlastin^y at the door with his basket Jidl of some infemai tinc- 
ture of filth. I've kicked him right bang into the road three times ; 
but he still comes, and comes. I U half murder him some day." 

'' But of course it does you good V 

*'^ Is it rational to suppose it ? Is it any thing like rational to enter- 
tain the idea, that such hog- wash as that can do any fellow good? It's 
the nastiest muck that ever was concocted to disorder the bowels of 
a Christian. Do you happen to know what asafcstida is ? Because, if 
you do, you know what sort of physic I swill, for they shove a lot of 
that into every blessed bottle. I'm certain it's that : there can be no 
mistake, I should know it a mile off; that, and the stuff they seU to 
poison the bugs, constitute ^ the mixture as before," and an eztremdy 
pleasant mixture it is, if you can but get it down. Now, I want yon, 
therefore, to do me this kindness; if you'll stop— if it be only for a 
quarter of an hour, I shall take it as an especial mark of friendship, 
for I can gammon them out of some wine for you, and that's the only 
way in which I can see my way clear to ffet a glass for myself; for of 
course I can't stir out of the house with this jolly old smoke-dried 
countenance, tattooed and scored like the nob of a Chocktaw Chief. 
It's worse, ten to one worse, than having the small-pox. The measles 
are a fool to it ; and as for the itch ! — ^there, you may believe me or 
not, as you like, but if all the infernal tribes of wasps, bugs, musqui- 
toes, fleas, and every other kind of vennin in nature were marching 
about me in everlasting legions, they couldn't produce an itch like it. 
I'll defy them to do it ! and yet thai old donkey that scours me out, 
has the face to tell me that I ought not to scratch it ! I'm regularly 
drowned about seven times a day, in what hs christens lotion — ^the 
nastiest, greasiest, slipperiest muck that ever made a tom-cat sick. It 



/ 




-,jM.,/> 



YALBNTINE VOX. 211 

does me no good ; it only makes me itch more, as I tell the old fool, 
who however takes no sort of notice at all of what / say, as if I didn't 
know about my own feelings best! If I seriously expostulate with 
him, he only laughs and directs them to 'rub it in ; rub it in ! Oh ! 
never mind ; rub it in!' And they do rub it in like devils. 'But don't 
ffo just yet, there's a trump,' he added, and rushed from the room quite 
ddighted with the idea of having an additional elass of wine." 

^' What an extraordinary creature !'* thought Valentine on being 
left ak>ne. ^* How dreadfully he must suffer ; and yet how his spirits 
sustain him. Most men, if in his present state, wotdd be lying in bed, 
increasing by dwelling upon their agony, and groaning as if groans alone 
were capable of effecting a cure." 

^'AU right! all right!" cried Horace, bouncing into the room, 
^ I've done the trick. I've gammoned them both, that youVe been 
walking a veiy long distance, and feel most particularly faint. So 
it's to come down directly. They wouldn't trust me with it, though ; 
I suppose they &ncied that I should walk into the decanter on the 
stairs. But no matter -^come in! — Now I look upon this as very 
friendly." 

The servant at this moment entered with the wine; and Horace 
observed that there was no mistake about her. 

'' If you please, sir," said the girl, addressing Valentine, '' Missises. 
compHments, and she'd take it as a particular favour, if you wouldn't 
allow Mr. Horace to have more than half a glass." 

** Why, you out-and-out, know nothing, wretch I what d'ye mean?" 
cried Horace. ^ Is this your gratitude? Didn't I cany you over the' 
^es ? Be off! — I hate the sight of you !" and he pulled off his wig 
and threw it at her with great energy, as she darted like lightning 
from the. room. '^ You see V he continued, as he picked up his wig, 
*^ this is just the way they serve mo day after day. If I hadn't the. 
temper of an angel, they'd drive me into fits. But come ! — May we 
never wani nothmff." 

Having earnestly delivered this beautiful sentiment, and emptied 
his ^ass, he smacked his lips with reaHy infinite gusto, and replenished. 

^^ Bring me a bottle of wine, there's a trump !" said he. ^' Do^ if 
you have any <Aarity in you. You haven't an idea what a favour I 
should esteem it. It's the handsomest present you could possibly make 
me. Yon eould call to-morrow, you know, and bring it snugly in 
your pocket. But don't let them see it ; if you do, Fm done. It 
would be to me the highest treat in nature. Success to you, old boy 1" 
he continued, again emptying his glass. *^ You don't know how happy 
I am to see you !" 

'^Well, now," said Valentine, ''how did this dreadful calamity 
occur ?" 

*' Why, you see," replied Horace, " the old governor was a little 
bit thick in the dear, and they fancied that somebody ought to sit up 
with him. Of course, I saw in a twinkling, who that somebody must 
be; I knew that being a pleasant job, I was to have it ; and I wasn't 
at all out of my reckoning. I did have it, naturally ; I had it for three 



212 LIFE AND ADTENTUR&S OF 

blessed nights, and as I went to bed immediately after bieak&st, I 
snoozed very soundly till supper time came. Well, yon see, on the 
third night the governor was unbearable, for what must he do but take 
it into his jolly old sconce, that Uncle Grim was in the room ! It's a 
&ct, upon my soul ! He would have it that he was standing at the 
foot of the bed, and nothing could drive it out of him. I tried all I 
knew to swindle the old ass into the belief that I had pitched him neck 
and crop out of the window ; but no ; he wouldn't have it ; he fancied 
he saw him there still; and after cutting away like a jolly old lunatic 
for two or three hours, he dropped off, as I thought to sleep. Well I 
as soon I saw his eyes closed right and tight, I left the room to get a 
cup of hot coffee, which 1 knew was all regular in the kitchen, and I 
9uppo96 that as soon as my blessed back was turned, the old ass jumped 
out and set fire to the bed-clothes, for on running up again, which I 
did like a wheelbarrow, I found the room in flames, and him laughing 
like a fool fit to split. I called to him again and again, but he took 
no notice; I put it to him whether he didn't think he was a donkey, 
but he made no reply, I couldn't drag him out ; I couldn't get at him ; 
I couldn't even get into the room, and it was not until the whole house 
was one flake of fire, and he was as black as an old tin pot, that I was 
able, by smashing in the panel of the wainscot, to lug him into the passage, 
and thence out of the house. I ran up again after that, to lay my fist 
upon a little lot of documents ; but lor ! the room was full of blazes, 
and to add to the comfort of my position, I wish I may die, if the 
jolly old stairs didn't fall the very moment I wished to descend. Well, 
up to the attic I flew, and out upon the tiles I bounced like a baU. It 
was there, that I met with that girl whom you saw »- who cer- 
tainly did startle me a little above a bit — and there we were 
forced to remain, till one of the firemen — who was a trump every 
inch of him — came to our assistance. Well ! having caught hold 
of the girl, with about the same coolness, as if there 1^ been 
nothing the matter, he cocked me into a sort of a long cotton stocking, 
and down I slipped gradually from the parapet to the ground. 
But the friction! — Oh! — don't mention it! My skin was like the 
crackling of a roast leg of pork over done; and as for my poor old tog- 
gery I — the fire had made it so particularly rotten, that I came out as 
naked as a new-bom devil. I didn't, however, feel much more then ; 
but in the morning, when the excitement had gone a little off, perhaps 
I didn't ! Talk of Fox*s Book of Martyrs ! fu bet ten to one there 
wasn't a martyr among them that suffered a tithe of what I did. It 
made me so savage ! But don't let us talk any more about it. Every 
evil is pregnant with good : the ofispring of this, is the fact of its being 
over, and that is an absolute blessing." 

Valentine listened to all this with the utmost attention ; but that 
which struck him with greater force than all the rest, was the &ct of 
Walter having endeavoured to bum the apparition of his brother out of 
the room. **What could possibly have induced him," thought he^ 
to have recourse to such an expedient? One would have tnought 
that the notion of his brother being present, instead of exciting angiy 



TALBNTINB TOX. 213 

feelings, would have been calculated to comfort and console him« But 
every thin^ tends to confirm my belief of bis bemg the victim of some 
foul play. 

There was a pause ; but it was not of long duration, for Horace 
again replenished his glass, and gave as a toast : '' the knock-kneed 
qnaker." 

"Have you seen or heard any thing of your unde?" enquired 
Valentine with considerable earnestness. 

Horace looked at him intently, as if he vdshed to read the motive 
which prompted the question, and then answered, " No, I can't say 
that I have ; I believe that he is all right somewhere, but where I 
don't know, .nor does any one else but the governor/' 

" Then," thought Valentine, *' when the governor is convalescent, 
since his imagination is so susceptible of apparently supernatural influ- 
®**®6S, 1*11 wring the secret from him by apparently supernatural 
means." 

** What, are you off I" cried Horace as Valentine rose. 

" I have letters to write, which will take me some time." 

" Well, if you must go, you know, why you must : but mind, don't 
forget me, there's a charitable soul. You've no idmt what a relief this 
glass or two of wine has been to me to-day. If you can't bring a 
bottle, you know, bring a pint. That thief of a doctor, I know, wants 
to rattle my life out, with his nasty messes; therefore, don't foiget 
to bring me some, there's a good fellow." 

Valentine promised that he would not, and after wishing him well 
over it, and. requesting to be remembered up-stairs, he left the house, 
with the view of writing forthwith to Uncle John. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THB MAS<inERADE AT VAUXHALL. 

Moralists declaim against masquerades ; they contend that they are 
things which ought not to be countenanced ; they will not hear a sylla- 
ble advanced in their favour, although it is manifest that they who de- 
nounce them, are extremely inconsistent, if they fail to denounce the 
whole world, inasmuch, as the world is one grand masquerade, and all 
who live in it are maskers : from the king to the mendicant, all are 
masked, and their actions form neither more nor less than one grand 
social system of mummery. Deception is the primary object of all, 
and there is nothing they seek to disguise more than that. What man 
can tell what another man is ? He may guess ; he may make up his 
mind that he is this or that ; but he is able to discover his true charac- 
ter no more, than he is able to discover the seat of the soul ; for while 
each assumes a character he wishes to sustain, all strive to appear to be 
that which they are not. 



214 LIFB AND ADYENTUSBS OF 

Masquerades are therefore the types of the world, aod are, with the 
world to be applauded or cenfiured equally. Each is a miniature w«Ncld 
of itself, in which goodness, vice, foUy, and knavery mix with the most 
absolute indiscrimination, and whether our view be oom|niriienBive or 
limited, we see that the object of all is disffuise. 

Ind^endently. however, of this high consideration, masqnendeB an 
an exceedingly pleasant species of entertainment, and the only wonder 
is, that in private life they are not to greater extent upheld. When 
men say, that vice invariably attends them, they say but that which 
is appUcable to all entertainments ; but if they be properiy conducted, 
a more really delightful kind of amusement can scarcely be conceived. 

Now Valentine had lieard much about masquerades, but of course, as 
they are confined to the metropolis, he had never been at one. Having 
an anxious desire, however, to witness the scene, he embraced an oppor- 
tunity which a '' carnival" at Yauxhall afforded, and having purchased 
on the evening appointed a ticket, and a very extraordinary nose, v^ch 
he placed in his hat, thai it might not be spoiled, started off in high 
spirits alone. 

It ¥ras a beautiful evening, and as the moon shone bririitly and the 
air was refreshing, he made up his mind to walk at leastlialf the dis- 
tance ; but he had not proceeded far, before his attention was attracted 
towards a really maenificent-lookinff creature, in a splendid Giecian 
dress, who was holdmg a conversation with a dirty-looking cabman. 
Valentine thought the association odd, but as he heard, in repLy to the cab- 
man's remark, ^' It's a hateenpenny toe" — ^the Grecian beauty say, ^' I 
have but a shilling,'' the mystery was solved in a moment. 

'^ I can lend you some nlver," said Valentine, ^' how modi do you 
want?" 

^< I — feel obliged," said the Grecian beauty, who seemed greatly con- 
fused, *' I want but sixpence." 

Valentine placed half-a- crown in her hand, and walked on until he 
came to the coach-stand, at Kennington Cross, when fancying he had 
walked for enough, he jumped into a cab, and was whirled to Vauxhall 
in the space of five minutes. 

There was a crowd round the entrance, consisting of about a thousand 
persons, who had assembled for the purpose of catching a glance of the 
maskers ; and as Valentine had seen at the bottom of the bills, an an- 
nouncement to the effect, that no person would be admitted without a 
mask, he fancied it proper to put on his nose before he alighted from 
the cab. 

^' Oh ! oh ! there's a conk ! there's a smeller ! Oh ! oh !" exolainiied 
about fifty voices in chorus. 

Valentine felt flattered by these notes of admiration, and having 
bowed to the crowd passed in. 

Now when their Royal Highnesses Rieza Koolee Meerza, Najaf 
Koolee Meerza, and Saymoor Meerza, of Persia, were in London, they 
wont to Vauxhall on an ordinary night, and this is their description <^ 
the place and its glories : — ^' In the evening we visited a laige garden, 
beautifuUy lighted up, and the fireworks we saw here made us forget aO 



TALBNTTNB TOX« 215 

others that we had already seen. A garden, a heaven ; large, adorned 
with roeee of different colours in every direction, the water was running 
on the beautiful green, pictures were drawn on every walL Here and 
there were young moonly-faces selling refreshments. There were burn- 
ing in this pla^ about two millions of lights, each giving a different 
eoTour ; the lanterns and lights are so arranged as to make poetry, in 
such a manner that they have no end. On every side tliere appeared 
the moon and the son, with the planets, each moving in its orbit ; and 
in every, there were about 10,000 Frank moons, vmking and gazing 
about, where the roses and their tribes were admiring their beautiful 
cheeks. Each was taken by the hand; such a company in such a 
place says to the soul, ' Behold thy paradise !' " 

Now, however absurd this description may seem — however ridiculous 
it may in reality be, it portra}^ the feelings with which Valentine was 
inspired, when the brilliant scene opened before him. He felt absolutely 
enchanted, and gazed upon the spectacle in a state of amazement the 
most intense. He beheld the apparently interminable festoons of varie- 
gated lamps, and heard the merry shouts, and the martial music in the 
distance. His whole soul was inspired, and he felt that peculiarly 
thrilling sensation which modem philosophers so beautifully describe, 
when they say of a mortal, that *' he don^t know exactly whether he is 
standing on his liead or his heels.*' He pulled off* his nose, but that 
made no diffisrenoe: he was still completely lost in admiration; and 
when he did at length manage to find himself again, he saw around him 
groups of gaily diessed creatures, who appeared to have come from all 
quarters of the globe, with the view of imparting life and spirit to the 
soeneu Greeks^ (Germans, Chinese, Russians, Dutchmen, Turks, Per- 
sians, Italians, apes, bears, sylphs, w^ Indians, and devik, were the 
most distinguished foreigners present; while the most distinguished 
natives were, beadles, downs, pantaloons, sotctiers, sailors, sweeps, jug- 
glers, barristers, knights, jockeys, beef*eater8, firem^i, nuns, footmen^ 
widows, harlequins, ballad-singers, romps, and old maids. The Persian 
prinees saw the ^ ftiU-moons" in petticoats only ; but Valentine beheld 
a great variety of them in trowsers, and after having reviewed them for 
some considerable time, his astonishment somewhat subsided; he began 
to feel himedf again, and replaced his nose, and having got into the 
middle of a stream of mortals and immortals, who were following the 
sound of a beli, he soon found himself within a really elegant little 
theatre, in which a poor man was mouthing what were termed ** imi- 
tations" of some of Uie most popular actors of the day. 

Valentine listened to the commencement of this pitiful business with 
an expression of contempt. He felt it to be a drnidful waste of time 
which ought not, on sudi an occasion, to be tolerated ; and, therefore, 
throwing his voice just behind the poor creature, said solemnly in the 
notorious jumping wobble of the particular actor whom the man was 
pretending to imitate, '^ Sir-r-r, do you-er expect me to endure* er this 

IBSUlt?" 

The fellow turned round veiy sharply in the full expectation of sedng 
his prototype behind him ; and although he was in this little particalM 



210 tlFE AND ADTENTURE8 OF 

disappointedy the confusion into 'which the idea of his beine there had 
thrown him, made him look so exceedingly droll, that the audience began 
to laugh very naturally and very merrily. 

** Enough ! enough !" shouted Valentine, and the shout had at least 
a hundred echoes, which had the effect of confusing the poor man still 
more ; and although he tried desperately hard to recover his self-pos- 
session, every faithful imitation he attempted drew forth such ludicrous 
expressions of ridicule, that he eventually shuffled off the stage with a 
look of scorn which was highly theatrical, appropriate, and telling. 

The audience, however, remained to see some other dreadful business 
— « fact which Valentine held to be, under the circumstances, monstrous. 
He therefore rushed from the theatre with the laudable view of hunting 
up the individual who had the management of the bell, and having 
happily found him with the instrument under his arm, he made up his 
mind to get hold of it somehow. 

*' Welly old fellow," said he, sitting down in one of the boxes, *' Do 
you ever drink brandy-and- water?" 

^' Always, sir, when I can get it," replied the witty bellman. 

*^ Well,'' said Valentine, tburowing down a shilling, ^^ then run and 
get a glass and bring it hot." 

Tlie unsuspecting mdividual placed his bell upon the table, and trotted 
off at once with an expression of pleasure the most profound, virhich 
happened to be precisely what Valentine wanted ; for he immediately 
laid hold of the noisy instrument in question, and taking it with him 
into one of the dark walks near the back of the Uieatre, com- 
menced ringing away with unparaUeled fury. This suited his 
views to a hair. The efiect was instantaneous throughout the 
gardens: all were in motion — a living stream issued from the 
Uieatre — in fact, from all quarters the rush towards the spot in 
which he rang the bell so furiously was sufficiently tremendous 
to realize his fondest anticipations. He beheld with delight the 
mighty torrent coming towards him in the full expectation of seeing 
something very grand; but as tliey approached, he slipped away through 
the shrubbery which led to another walk equally dark, where, hold- 
ing the bell in both hands, he began to ring again with all the energy 
in tiiB nature. Back went the crowd, thinking naturally enough that 
they had taken the wrong direction, and as Valentine kept ringing as 
if he wished to raise the dead, their curiosity vnis excited to an ex- 
traordinary pitch, and they increased their speed in proportion. The 
stream turned the comer ; and down the walk it rushed, when Valen- 
tine perceiving a somewhat short cut into the middle of the gardens, 
vraUced very deliberately in that direction, deriving at the same time 
considerable amusement from the fact of the people still rushing down 
the walk, of course wondering what on earth was to be seen. By the 
time this particular walk became full, he had reached the open space in 
the centre of the gardens, and having jumped upon one of the tables 
which stood just oehind the grand orchestra, he recommenced ringing 
as furiously as before. The crowd for a moment hesitated, as if tbey 
reaQy doubted the evidence of thor own ears; but having satisfied 



VALBNTINB VOX- 217 

theanaelTes m to the qiMrtex firom which the sound of the bell pro- 
ceeded, they rushed hack at once, and there ValentiDe stood, still 
linging away with all the foree at his command. He did not attempt 
to move an inch firom the spoti nor did he mean to move until he bad 
drawn them all round him, which he had no sooner accomplished, 
than, perceiving the hoax, they simultaneously burst into one roar of 
laughter. 

Determined to keep up the spirit of the thing, he now began to 
issue a formal proclamation ; but the crowd were so convulsed, and 
made so deafening a noi6% that hia own voice was drowned in the 
general clamour. 

^' Hurrali ! now my lads I" shouted the leader of a press-gang — 
^' Now, then 1 bear a hand 1" and a dooten stout fellows, whom he led, 
nused the table upon which the Herald Valentine was standing, 
with the praiseworthy intention of bearing him in triumph round the 
gardens. 

Any thing but that would have met his views precisely; but it 
did so happen that he had been borne in triumph before ! — the equal- 
riffhtites had borne him in triumph round Clerkenwell Green — a fact of 
which he had so lively a recollection, that, he seized the very earliest 
opportunity of le|kping from the table, when, puUing off his nose, that 
he might not be recognised, he mixed with the crowd, who seemed 
to enjoy the thing exceedingly. 

His first object now was to restore the bell to the individual who 
had the really legitimate management thereof^ and having accomplished 
this to the entire satisfaction of that individual, he proceeded very 
leisurely towards the spot in which Neptune was represented sitting 
majestically in his shell drawn by fiery looking steeds, out of whose 
extended nostrils issued streams of living water. This group looked 
extremely picturesque, and while it was being admired by Valentine, 
a little feUow dressed as a school boy vrith a hoop in his hand, 
approached with a child who had a skipping rope tied round her 
waist. 

^^ That» my little dear," said the school-boy, '^ is Neptune the god 
of the sea," and the tones in which this information was conveyed, 
had the effect of even startling Valentine, who thonght it a most ex- 
traordinary voice to proceed uom a boy ; and yet ne was dressed in 
every particular like a boy, and had on an exceedingly juvenile 

^^It's very pretty, isn't itT observed the little girl. " But what 
does it mean r' The school boy began to explain to her Neptune's 
tiansfbrmationa and their object; but Valentine no sooner perceived 
his design, than throwing his voice towards Neptune, he exclaimed, 
** Wretch I— Forbear !" 

^ The boy trembled, and dropped his hoop, and thei^ fumbled about 
his pockets, and eventually drew out a pair of gold spectacles ; but 
the moment he lifted up his juvenile mask to put them on, the child 
durieked and ran away, for he displayed the shrivelled face of a de- 
crepit old man, who leaUy appeared to be an octogenarian. 

F p 



218 LIFE AND ADyfiNTURfiS OF 

Valentine naturally felt disgusted, and drew a littie aside; wheiii 
as he took no apparent notice of what had occurred, the hoy pulled 
off his cap, and exhibited a little head perfectly hald, and haying 
lifted his juvenile mask up higher in order to see through his spec- 
tacles with greater distinctness, he examined the group with an ex- 
pression of amazement. 

^* Shame !'' cried Valentine, sending his voice in the same direction, 
^' You wretched, wretched old man ! Are my actions fit to be ex- 
plained to a child ?" 

The '^ boy" trembled again violently, and while looking and shuf- 
fling about in a state of great alarm, he placed his foot upon the edge 
of the hoop that had fadlen, and as it rose on the instant it came m 
contact with his shin with so much force that he absolutely groaned 
with the pain it occasioned. 

*'Away!" cried Valentine, through Neptune, ''Reform! ere it be 
too late!*' and the ^^boy" hobbled away as fast as his feeble legs 
could carry him towards a spot in which the lights were most bru- 
liant. Here he got into one of the boxes to look at his old shin, and 
while he was rubbing away with great energy, and cursing both Nep- 
tune and the hoop very profoundly, Valentine entered the same box 
and sat down unperceived. 

'' Have you hurt yourself much, my little fellow ?*' said he at leneth. 
*' Oh ! never mind, my man. It will soon be well ! Don't cry ! Let 
me rub it with a little cold brandy-and-water. Here, waiter ! some 
brandy-and- water, cold — quick!" 

The very moment, however, the '^ boy" became conscious of Valen- 
tine's presence, he left off both rubbing and cursing, and limped with 
considerable dexterity into the next box. 

^^That poor little boy has hurt his leg,'* said Valentine, on the brandy- 
and- water being produced. ^* Just see what you can do for him will 
you V* and he and the waiter proceeded at once to the box in which the 
Uttle boy was rubbing his shin, still in great apparent agony. ^' Here, 
my little man," he continued, '^ let the waiter rub some of this in for 
you, there's a good boy. I'm sure you must have injured yourself very 
much.'' 

The good little boy left off rubbmg again, and having mutteted some* 
thing which sounded very much like a naughty exclamation, he limped 
across the gardens with his dear little hoop. 

^ You'll excuse me. Sir," said the waiter, who had been labouring 
Tery laudably to suppress a fit of laughter, '* but how worry green you 
are, sir ! Why that little boy's a hold man !" 

^ I know it," said Valentine, *^ I was anxious to make him ashamed 
of himself, that was all." 

^ Ah !" exclaimed the waiter, shaking his head very piously, '* you'd 
never do that, sir ; he's too fiir gone. He's a lord, sir, and nothing can 
shame him. He's always here after the worry little gals, and the leetl» 
they are, sir, the better he likes 'em." 

As Valentine made no farther observation, the waiter of course left 
him, and he continued in the box until the fireworks were announced, 



TALSzrriNB vox. 219 

when he pMoeeded at oaee to the gaUery, iu order to have an unmter- 
rupted view. 

*' Oh ! oh ! oh !" exchdmed at least a hundred voices, as the first 
splendid rocket ascended with a roar ; but, albeit these ironical excla- 
mations wefe perpetually uttered, they failed to divert the attention of 
Valentine, who really thought the whole exhibition magnificent. Ho 
had never witnessed any thing at all comparable in point of grandeur, 
and hence the only thing which failed to delight him, was the fact of 
the last device shooting itself away. 

The very moment tne fireworks were over, there was a firesh impor- 
tation of noise. A mob of sweeps, and a legion of recruits were intro- 
duced, and the clamour they raised was decidedly terrific. The sweeps 
bad appaieaUy been boiled for the occasion, and then very delicately 
tinted with soot ; while the recruits were preceded by the ** mcny fife 
and dmm," which had an effect so enlivening, that Valentine almost 
unconsciously marched with them, imtil he came in front of a place 
which was called the grand pavilion, and which commanded a view of 
the greater portion of the gardens. 

^^That's a delightful place to sit in," thought Valentine, ** I may as wcU 
go up at once"; and accordingly into the pavilion he went, and found it 
thronged with very droll-lookmg creatures, apparently full of life and 
spirit* 

Having seated himself in one of the boxes in front, so as to have 
a full view of the scene, he again took off his really extraordinary nose 
to look round him with more perfect freedom. Immediately beneath 
him, some remarkable characters were having a quadrille, and this had 
a very curious effect, inasmuch as all distinctions appeared to be 
levelled. A dustman was dancing with a Persian princess ; a wild red 
Indian with a nun; a learned juc^ge with a nut-brown gipsy; and a 
sweep in his May-day habiliments with a sylph ; while the style in 
which each of them moved, was so strikingly characteristic, that they 
appeared to have studied to make the scene as grotesquely ludicrous as 
possible. 

*' Most potent, grave, and reverend signers," said a scraggy creature, 
stalking into the pavilion, in the character of Othello, with a remarkably 
short pipe in his mouth, ^* that I have ta'en away this old cock's 
daughter — ." He was about to proceed, but as he had placed his 
heavy hand upon the head of a very fiery old gentleman, he received in 
an instant a glass of champagne in his sooty countenance— an insult 
which the ^' vuiant Moor," put m his pipe, and stalked out with appro- 
priate solemnity to smoke it. 

^^ Wliat did you order, sir?" enquired one of the waiters addressing 
Valentine. 

^ Nothing : what have you to eat ?" 

'^ Ham and chicken, sir, roast — '* 

*^ That will do: let me have it as soon as possible,'* said Valentino, 
who in the excitement had altogether forgotten his stomacli, which now 
began to hint at the fact of its being empty. 



220 LIFB AKD AJOTBNTUIIES OF 

He had scarcely, however, time to reflect upon this otttuinstaiioe, 
hefore the dishes were placed before him, and having ordered some 
wine, he commenced a very pleasing operation, to which the gay scene 
imparted an additional zest. 

As the place in which he sat was so conspicuous that those who 
passed the pavilion could scarcely fail to see him, it was not long be- 
fore he was recognised by the identical Qrecian beauty, whom he had 
seen in conversation with the cabman, and who enteied the pavilion at 
once 

*^ I have to thank you,'' siud she, removing her mask, ^ for your 
kindness to me this evening. It ia more than I could have expected 
from a perfect stranger." 

" Oh, the cab !" said Valentine, recollecting the circumstance, ** don't 
name it. You have been here of course ever since T' 

*^ I have," she replied, '' I have been looking in vain for a penon 
whom I fully expected to see." 

** You must feel veiy &int ?" observed Valentine, *' flit down and 
have some supper." 

" Fm extremely obliged, but — I fear I shaU be intruding.'* 

^^ Not at all ! not in the least ! sit down." And she did so, but with 
evident timidity. 

" There is,'' thought Valentine, ^^ in the midst of this scene at least 
one heavy heart — a neart probably susceptible of all the most amiable 
feelings of our nature, yet blasted by the consciousness of guilt." And 
he gazed with a feeling of pity upon the beautiful creature before him, 
and as he gazed, he perceived the tears trickling down her chedES, 
which she appeared to be most anxious to conceal. 

Fancying that his steady look had somewhat embarrassed her, he 
assumed an air of gaiety — although he did not at that moment feel gay 
— ^and began to direct her attention to the most grotesque creatures 
that came within view. He could not, however, extort from her a 
smile. She appeared to feel grateful, exceedingly grateful, for all the 
attentions shown, but her features were as rigid as marble. She ate 
but little, and was silent, except indeed when it became necessary for 
her to answer the direct questions of Valentine. 

'' You are not in good spirits this evening V* he observed, after having 
for some considerable time tried to divert her. 

^' I never am," she replied fiiiutly, *^ 1 have not been for many, Teiy 
many dreadful months." 

^* There was something irreostibly touching in the heart-broken 
tones in which these words were uttered ; but as Valentine was anxious 
not to increase the pain she evidentiy endured, he at once waived the 
subject, and tried again to cheer her. 

^'Is that the earl?" enquired a person who sat behind Valentine, 
pointing to a small sallow consumptive- looking creature, who was 
leaning against the side of the pavihon, as if he^ had not the power to 
stand without support. 

The Grecian beauty started, and appeared much oonfiiaed. 



t 




~^^^^^^ 



VAUDfTINB VOX. 221 






Why do yon tcemble ?" enqnired YaleiltU^e. 

'Tis he," she replied, ^^ he who has been the cause of all my af- 
fliction.'' And the teats again qprang into her eyes, and she sobbed, 
while endearomine to conceal them. 

Valentine turned towards the earl, and looked at him with an eoqprea-* 
sion of contempt. 

^ But for him," continued ^ miserable girl, '* I should still haye 
been virtnons — stiil pure." 

*^ Is it possible ?" said Yalestine, ^ that a wretdied-looking cre a iute 
like that could have robbed you of virtue V 

^ It was his tide,'' she replied, '' it was thai by wMch I was fiuei*- 
nated — not by bis person." 

** But how came you first to know him ?' enquired Valentine. 
^ Come, come, tell me all," and having at kng^ succeeded in somewhat 
subduing her emotion, he prevaikd upon her to explain to ban, fanefly, 
the circumstances out of which her affliction arose. 

*^My poor father," said she, ''is a clergyman residing nearly a 
hnndred miles froin London, and the dinnrace which I liave brought 
upon him, afflicts me more, fiur more, than aS besides. By him, about six 
months since, I was taken to our election bail. The earl was there ; I 
danced with him ; he paid me marked attention throughout the even- 
ing, and called the followinff day, and on becoming acquainted with 
the uircamstances of my father, who bad then an exceedingly fimited 
income, he exerted his influence in his fiivour, and the result was, my 
father's preferment.- I was grateful — we were all, of course, exceedinff^ 
grateful to him for this act of kindness, and he became a constant visi- 
tor ; but his object — although, alas ! it was not then peroeired'— was 
my ruin, and that he eventually accomplished. I eloped and came 
with him to London, where he engaged a house for me, and was for a 
few short weeks most attentive and kind, but after that his visits gra- 
dually became less and less frequent, until at length he deserted me 
entirely." 

'' And is your &ther aware of your present position?" 

'' He is not ; I have not dared to write to him.*' 

^ Do you think that he would not receive you again, if you were to 
explain to him how you are situated, and that you are anxious to re- 
turn ?" 

''I fear not: I much fear that he would not; but having heard that 
the earl would be here to-night, I borrowed this dress, which is like one 
he gave me, and came expressly in order to prevail upon him, if possi- 
ble, to give me a sum sufficient to enable me to return to my poor dis- 
graced mther, that I may throw myself in penitence at his feet, and on 
my knees implore forgiveness." 

*' Uow much do you require for that purpose ?" said Valentine, whom 
the relation of these circumstances had touched most acutely. 

'' I could manage it with even thirty shillings,'' she replied, '' even 
that would enable me to return." 

Valentine instantly drew out his purse. He had but two sove- 
reigns and some silver. He gave her the two sovereigns, and urged her 



222 THB Lira AND ADTBNTURBB OP 

not to speak to the earl, bat to go home at once and prepaie for her 
journey. 

The poor giil appeared to be overwhehned with gratitude. She a 
thousand times thanked him with eloquence and vrarmth, and having 
blessed him and kissed his hand ferventlj, left the pavilion unseen by 
the earl. 

V.'' ^ 'ne now tried to shake off the feeling which the tale of this 
beautiful girl had inspired. He replaced his nose, walked anun round 
the gardens, went to look at the hermit, and astonished tne penons 
who were standing around, by sending his voice into the moon-lit oell, 
and making the old anchorite apparently repeat certain passages in 
Byron's Cartair. 

Still he felt somewhat duU, and returned tovrards the theatre, and 
as he found that the maskers were dancing there merrily, he joined them 
at once, and having engaged an active partner, in the sinulitude of a 
little female midshipman, he became again one of the gayest of the 

gay- 
Having enjoyed himself exceedingly for about an hour here, his ears 

were suddenly assailed by a series of extraordinary shrieks which ap« 

parently proceeded from the pavilion, and as several of the females 

rushed in to inform their friends that ** Slashing Soph " was having « 

glorious set to with a broom girl, he ran with the stream which at once 

issued forth, towards the spot. 

In front of the pavilion a crowd had assembled : a ring was formed, 
and the spectators stood a dozen deep. He could still hear the shrieks, 
mixed with loud exclamations of "^ Cut away. Soph ! — ^Pitch into her 
broomy I* and so on, but could not obtain even a glimpse of the belli- 
gerent powers. 

*^ I will see who she is 1" shrieked a female in the centre. 

'^ That voice 1* thought Valentine, ** that voice I" He instantly 
elbowed his wvy through the crowd, and beheld in ^^ Slashing Soph " the 
Grecian beauty ! 

He rushed to her at once and drew her back ; but she desperately re- 
sisted every effort to hold her. 

^^ Let me alone !" she exclaimed, " I can lick her ! — HI murder her ! 
— Let me alone !" 

*^ Foolish sirl ! I will not !" cried Valentine firmly ; but he had no 
sooner uttered the words, than she turned round and struck him in the 
£ice with considerable violeoce. 

He indignantly relinquished his hold, and she no sooner found herself 
free, than she sprang at the broom-girl, who was backed by a dustman, 
and tore her cap and mask in an instant to tatters. The broom-girl, al- 
though a much more formidable-looking person, stood no chance whatever 
with ner, for she stood up firmly, and struck fiiirly out right and left, 
like a man ; and while she did so, indulged in the most horrible lan- 
guage that ever proceeded from human lips. 

Valentine was so utterly disgusted, that he pressed at once out of the 
ring, and on approaching a female in the character of a nun, he enquired 
if she knew the Grecian beauty. 



TALBNTINB TOX, 229 

** Know her!*' ezcbdmed the nun, *' what, Slashing Soph ! — ^who 
don't ? Why I'ye known her ever since she wasn't higher than nx- 
pen'orth of ha'pence. We were brought np t(M[ether — only she hap- 
pened to have a better education than me, ana that has made her the 
most artful card that ever walked on two legs." 

*^ But her parents are respectable, are they not V said Yalentine. 

*' Her Ccither was, no doubt," replied the nun, '^ for her mother made 
him pay pretty handsomely for her. Why, she's the daughter of old 
mother Maxwell, don't yon know V* 

Most certainly Valentine knew nothing of the sort: he knew, 
well knew, that he had been duped, and that was all he did know 
about the matter. ** But what was the cause of this battle?" he 
enquired. 

*^ Why, you see," replied the nun, ^* about an hour ago, Soph got 
together a few of the eirls, and stood champagne all round, and then 
brandy-and-water. She had just been playing modest, she said, to a 
sensitive young fool, whom she wheedled out of a couple of sovereigns, 
to enable her to return to her father, and she laughed so heartily as she 
ezphuned to them how she did it, and drank so freely, that when she 
had spent all she had, she became so quarrelsome— as she always is 
when she has been drinking — that she pitched into the very first girl 
she could lay hold of, who happened to be this poor Broomy, as 
hannless a creature as ever lived." 

^^ But he who gave her the money must have been a fool indeed 1" 
observed Valentine, by no means expecting a reply very flattering to 
himself. 

^* Why, I don't know so much about that," said the nun, ^* When 
she makes a dead set at a man, she never leaves him until she has ac- 
complished her object. He is down to eveiy move on the board, who 
is able to get over Soph." 

At this moment another fight commenced. The dustman, who had 
backed Uie broom-girl, becoming excessively indignant at what he con- 
sidered an unwarrantable interference on the p«rt of an ape, thought 
proper to strike that gentleman, who at once returned the blow with 
full interest thereon, and at it they went with appropriate desperation. 
The ape being by far the more active of the two, had decidedly the 
4>e8t of the battle, a fact which so enraged a very singular looking 
Scotchman, that, determined to take his revenge out of some one, he 
began to hammer away at a tall thin milita^ individual, who was 
conversing with a lady in a Turkish dress, and this a sailor regarded 
as so strikingly unfair, that he rushed upon the Scotchman, and beat 
him most cruelly. This in return had the e£fect of arousing the pug- 
nacity of many others, and in a short time the battle became genend. 
Nor was it confined to this particular q>ot, for as a gentleman in the 
character of Punch, while leaning over the front of the pavilion, had 
amused himself by pouring a quantity of wine into the mouth of a 
mask which its owner had raised expressly for the purpose of kissing a 
flower-girl, the individual thus operated upon, was so indignant at 



224 LIFB AlfD ▲DTBNT0RS8 OF 

the outn^ thai he rushed up at (moe with the laudable view of 
defiberatefy pummelKng Punch iu the pavilion, which he did so 
unmeicifuUy, that, as some cried *' shame ! and otlien, cried *^ hravo !" 
two parties were immediately formed, and the fight became general 
there. 

From the pavilion, the battle ffxaduaUy spread over the gardens, and 
a series of rumung fights were Kept up with great spirit. The peace- 
ably disposed shneked with fear, and ran about in all directions with 
desperate energy. Some sought refuge in the theatre, but even tiiat 
soon became a gladiatorial arena, while others rushed into the bar, near 
the entrance, and the rattling of punch bowls and glasses became 
awful. Boxes were broken down, and benches were pulled up, trees 
were shorn of their branches, and tables were smashed — in short, every 
thing which could be made available as a wei^MMi, was with the utmost 
avidity seized by the more desperate, while at the extreme end of the 
gardens, the more rational were engaged in the interesting occupation of 
pulling down the variegated lamps, and pitching them dexterously at 
each other, which had a very good efiect, inasmuch as each lamp con- 
tained a quantity of oil, with which those whom they struck were pro- 
fusely anointed, and contrasted very amusingly with the furious on- 
slaught made by those, who appeared to feel that they were bound by 
some just and eternal principle to do all the serious mischief in their 
power. 

Valentine wisely kept aloof from all this. He saw the combatants 
dealing out desperate blows with the most perfect indiscrimination, and 
had no disposition whatever to join them, for their weapons were 
employed, in some instances, wiUi frightful efiect. The men were 
shouting and swearing, while the women were screaming ; some were 
struggling on the ground, while others were trampling over them ; 
some were climbing into the pavilion, while others were leaping from 
it upon the heads of those below ; in fiftct, they fought so fiercely, and 
yelled with so much friry, that had a corresponding number of maniacs 
been let loose, they could neither have made more noise, nor have 
battled with more desperation. 

The police did all in their power to quell the riot, but were incapable 
of accomplishing much; their authority was utterly contemned, for 
their numerical strength was but small. They did, however, eveni- 
nally, by dint' of great exertions, succeed in getting hold of the Grecian 
beauty, whom they dn^;ed out of the Gudens, vrith the view of 
locking her up; when Valentine — who by no means regretted this 

Erooeeding, and who had seen quite enough of the madmen who were 
attlin^, they knew not why nor with whom— 4eft them, while they 
were still very deqpemtdy at it, with just sufficisilt money in his purse 
to carry him home, and no more. 



TALENTINiS VOX. 225 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

IN VTHICH YALENTINB HAS THE PLEASURE OF MEETINa TWO PERSONS 
IN WHOM HE TAKES GREAT INI 
TO A WAX-WORK EXHIBITION. 



IN WHOM HE TAKES GREAT INTEREST, AND WHOM HE ACCOMPANIES 



" It is !" exclaimed Valentiney one calm delightful eveding, as be 
turned into Grosyenor-square. ^^ It must be the dear, sweet girl whom 
I rescued !" And this was unquestionably, under the circumstanoee, 
an exceedingly natural exclamation ; for he at that moment met a most 
elegant creature, whose glance, as she passed him, appeared to pierce 
his soul. 

He stopped on the instant; and breathed extremely hard. His blood 
thrilled through his veins : he heard his heart beat yiolendy, and felt 
altogether particularly odd. 

'' I am sure," he continued, " quite sure ! — and — and—- why what 
an idiot I am !" and he began to be really very angry with himself for 
entertaining a feeling so essentiaUy queer; still he had not the power to 
shake it on. " Yaf ! Val 1'' he exclaimed, addressing himself in the 
second person singular, ^* What, what are you about ? Do you mean 
to remun standing here like a statue ?*' The person thus addsessed, 
appeared to repucEate the idea ; for he instantly commenced an irregular 
rush towards ihe object of his adcHratipn. 

With what graceful dignity she moved ! — with what elegant ease did 
she hang on the arm of him who, as a natural matter of eourse, was 
her &ther I Her air was, in the bright imagination of Valentine, that 
of a sylph, or of an angel! — there was poetry even in the folds of hes 
train as it swept the ground clean at each fairy-like step. 

He approached her ! and experienced that peculiar heart-sinkine sens- 
ation in a greater degree than before. He passed ! — and felt that he 
had never m the whole course of his life walked so awkwardly. He 
could scarcely walk at all ! and as for keeping on the same row of flags 1 
that becam eat once an absolute impossibility. And then, where were 
his hands ?^His right was sometimes in his breast; then it wandered 
to the arm-hole of his waistcoat— then up to his stock — and then into 
his coat pocket -- while his left was, if possible, more restless still. He 
could not tell exactly how it was, but he had never found his hands 
at all troublesome before. He drew off his gloves, and then drew them 
on, and in doing so, split one of them clean across the back. Well, 
then, that woulcm't do : he pulled it off again, and carried it in his 
hand ; and after fid^tting forward in this most undignified fashion for 
a very considerable distance, he made a dead set at some celestial body 
which his vivid imagination had established in the heavens for that par- 
ticular occasion, and stopped with the view of making a few profound 
astronotnical observatiiMis thereon, until the beautiful creature came up. 
This he held to be an admirable ruse^ and therefore looked — and looked 
— and felt so droll ! — She was a long time coming ! — a very long time. 
He must have shot a-head very fast ! — He became quite impatient — ^he 

G o 



220 LIFE AND ADTBNTURBB OF 

ventured to look back ; and found to his horror that she had yanished ! 
Which house could thej have entered? It must have been one 
of them ! Did they reside there ? It was then too late for them 
to be making flying calls! Well! what wta to be done? Was 
he to remain there tin midnight, or, to give a look up in the morning ? 
He stood still, and turned the thing over in his mind, and eventuauy 
arrived at the conclusion, that it would be, under the circumstances, 
best for him to walk up and down for an hour or so then, when, if they 
did not come out, the probability would be, that they did reside there, 
in which case he would simply have to come every morning until he 
saw her, which he argued must, in the natural course of things, be 
very soon. The instant, however, he had arrived at this remarkable 
conclusion, a most extraordinary idea struck him ! They miffht have 
turned down the street he had just passed over ! — They mi^t ! — He 
flew to the comer of that particular street^ and there they were walking 
very leisurely in the distance. 

'' Well of all the stupid idiots," thought he, *^ —but no matter. I 
pass them no more until I see them safefy housed/' And he followed 
them straight ; and walked much more steadily, and felt himself very 
considerably better. ^* And have I discovered you at last ?*' he ex- 
claimed, as he viewed the graceful creature before him with a feeling 
which amounted to ecstasy. His heart told him that he had ; and he 
began to consider how he should act when he had succeeded in tracing 
them home, and continued to be occupied with this important con- 
sideration until he saw them step into a house, near which stood a long 
line of public and private carriages. He hurried forward and reached 
the spot. It was not a private house. *^ Some concert," thought he, 
^ and I am not dressed. Well, have I not time to run home r* He 
looked round for a cab ; but before he called one, he enquired of a 
person who was standing at the entrance, what place it was. 

*^ The Wax-work Euiibition, sir," replied that person. 

** Excellent !" thought Valentine ; ** nothing could have been better ;" 
and he passed through the hall and ascended the stairs, and having 
given some money, he scarcely knew what, to a little old lady who sat 
on the left, he proceeded at once into a fine lofty room, in which a 
variety of Ufe-like figures were arranged in strikingly picturesque groups ; 
while from the ceiung were suspended innumerable lamps, which im- 
parted an additional lustre to the scene, which, on the whole, looked ex- 
tremely imposing. 

Without, however, giving more than a cursory glance at these figures, 
he walked round the room, and, of course, soon found himself imme- 
diately opposite the fair one, for a sight of whose beautiful features, he 
had so long, and so ardently panted. Her veil was down ; and as she 
held it in her hand, it was fluted, of course, treble, and it was, moreover, 
one of those tiresome thick veils which ought not, in any christian 
country, to be tolerated. He could not see her fiice. Her eyes he 
could perceive, and they appeared to sparkle brilliantly, but that was 
not enough : he wished to see her* entire foce, and that he could not do. 
Well ! how was he to act? He looked at her fiither again and again, 




cj Wn^^'^ a*^ 



4jv/^^;r ^vii///Ty !///..f-M/r ^.-■^- /■ 



YALBNTINE VOX. 22? 

and he certainly appeared to be a different man ; but then, men will 
look different under different circumstances, and be bad to consider tbat 
when he saw him before, he had just been rescued from the muddiest 
part of the Thames. His altered appearance was therefore held to be 
no proof at all of his not being the same individual. But that was of 
very little moment. The object of Valentine was to see the fine features 
of her — and his panting heart told him in language the most intelligible 
that it was her — of whom he was so deeply enamoured; yet those 
features continued to be concealed by this villanous veil. 

*^ Patience, Val, patience," he whispered to himself; ^* she may pre 
senily raise it." And she might have done so ; but as he perceived no 
symptoms of the fond hope involved in that act being realized, he 
felt himself bound by every principle of love and manhood to have 
recourse to some quiet manoeuvre. But what could he do ? He con- 
sidered for a moment. An idea flashed across his brain. They were 
examining every figure minutely : they would not suffsr one to escape 
notice. Well, could he not himself represent a wax figure, and thereby 
attract their especial attention ? It was then the only thing he could 
think of: he determined to do it, and being thus determined, he placed 
himself firmly by the side of a life-like representation of some diabolical 
person at wluch he appeared to be looking most intently. 

He had scarcely been standing in this position a moment when a 
company of ladies drew near, and gazed upon him with an expression of 
wonder. ^' Bless me," said one, " Did you ever see an3rthing so per- 
fectly natural ?" '' Why it seems absolutely to breathe," said another. 
** Well I declare," said a third, in a somewhat merry mood, ^' I don*t 
know what they will bring things to next, but I suppose they will be 
brought by and bye to such perfection that we shall be having for 
husbands wax men, by mistake." 

Valentine felt that it would do, and therefore kept his position, while 
the ladies were first looking about him to see if he were ticketed, and 
then referring to their catah)gues respectively, in order to ascertain what 
distinguished individual he could be ; but as he soon became anxious 
for them to depart, he turned his eyes full upon them, when they shrank 
back almost as much alarmed as if he had absolutely risen from the 
tomb. He could not avoid smiling at the astonishment displayed, and 
as the smile had the effect of destroying the illusion, the amassed ones, 
after indulging in a few highly appropriate exclamations of surprise, 
,iotto voce, passed on. The very moment they had left him he perceived 
the approach of her whose attention he was anxious to attract and there- 
fore stood as before like a statue. 

" That's very good I— excellent indeed ! Is it not V observed the 
fiither of the lady, waving his hand towards Valentine. '^ Who is it ?" 

The lady referred to her book, and Valentine stood with a firmness 
which really, under the circumstances, did him great credit. Being 
unable to find an3rthing like a description of him in the catalogue, 
she again raised her eyes, and looked earnestly at him, and as she 
found it impossible to see him with sufficient distinotness, she lifted her 
veil ! In an instant Valmtine turned his eyes upcm her, and beheld 



228 LIFE AVD ADTSNTURES OF 

— 4iof her in whom all his hopes were concentered ! no, nothing at all 
like her ! It was a lady with dark, piercing eyes, it is true, but with 
a face thickly studded with scarlet carbuncles. 

^^ You did it ezoellenily well, sir/' observed the old gentleman, smiling, 
and tapping him playfully on the shoulder ; ^' Upon my life I imagined 
you to be a real figure." 

Valentine of course felt flattered — ^highly flattered ; but was really so 
enraged that he would scarcely be civil. He did, however, manage to 
force up about half a smile, of a particularly wretched eoitej and walked 
at once to the other end of the room. He had never before met witii 
so serious a disappointment^ and he felt so ezoeedingly vexed, that he 
could with pleasure have quarrelled with any man breathing. He threw 
himsdf carelessly upon one of the seats, and looked upon all around 
him as if they had been really his natural enemies. He several times 
called himself a fool most emphatically, and twisted, and fidgetted, and 
knocked himself about — ^very naturally, it is true, for he was then ex- 
tremely wretched— but certainly with most unwarrantable violence. 
He felt that he wanted something, either to do or to drink, he nather 
knew nor cared which, albeit at that moment he could have drunk a 
pint of wine off with infinite gusto. Wine, however, could not be had 
there ; but, as he saw a very decent old fellow in spectacles sittmg 
beside him, and looking about very quietly with a little black box in 
his hand, he felt that perhaps a pinch of snuff, if it gave him no com- 
fort, might somewhat revive him ; and, therefore, addressing this spec- 
tacled person said, ^^ Will you obhge me V* 

The old boy appeared not to hear him. He continued to move his 
head right and left, and to turn his eyes about in all directions, but 
neither uttered a syllable nor oflered the box. Valentine, therefore^ 
fancying that he must be either deaf or lost in a maze of admiration, 
said, raising his voice, " May I trouble you ?" 

The old fellow still looked about him, but positively took no more 
notice of the request than if it had never been made ! Of course Valen- 
tine thought this extraordinaiT conduct, and began to be very angry 
with the cross old bear; but just as he was about to expostulate with 
him — to ask him what it was he really meant — ^for he was just 
in the humour to consider himself insulted — he heard a half-suppressed 
titterinff, which he found to proceed from two merry little ladies behind 
him, when in an instant his eyes were opened, and he saw at once that 
tMKv was the materiel with which the old boy had been built. 

*^ Well, this is extraordinary I" thought Valentine, whom the in- 
cident restored to good humour ; and he smiled at the deception— indeed 
he as nearly as possible laughed, — and on looking round, saw many very 
pleasant people who were hiughing both at him and with him. 

*^ Thart's a dead tak in, zir, thart there be," observed a ruddy-faced 
person, who was dressed like a fonner ; ^* I thowt mysel it wor flash an 
bind, damg me if I didn't, ;" and he grinned very desperately, and 
crammed a great portion of his handkerchief into his mouth, feeling, 
probably, that, although he had a very sweet laugh when it had its full 



VALBNTIKE YOX. 229 

natural swing, it mi^ht not be altogether decent to allow it to break 
loose there. 

^* It is very amusing/' said Valentine, addressing this person ; and 
he absolutely felt it to be so, and that feeling prompted him to walk 
round the room with the view of examining the rest of the figures, 
wliich he did with that species of pleasure which is at once very natural 
and' Yery remarkable ; for although curiosity may be generally acknow- 
ledged to be a feeling, of which the indulgence is essential to tlie 
pleasurable existence of us all, there is probably nothing in which that 
feeling is so strikingly manifested as in the peculiar gratification which 
we derive from a sight of the most famous, and most infamous men of 
tlie age. Whether they, who step out of the ordinary track, be phil- 
anthropists, murderers, warriors, or villains, we are anxious to see what 
sort of men they are, and if that be impossible — ^if we cannot see them 
in prcprid penond — why the next best thing in public estimation, is 
to see their portraits — ^being public lions, or objects of public curiosity 
-*-and as wax models are a species of portraiture which is by far the 
most striking, and which approaches the nearest to nature, the gratifi- 
cation they impart, if they be perfect, is greater than that which is 
derived from representations on canvass. Nothing can give so correct 
an idea of the features and figures of men as wax models : every shade, 
every line, every little peculiarity, may be so pourtrayed as to make it 
appear that the originals are living and breathing before you. It is im- 
possible to take a portrait on canvass for life ; but a perfect wax model 
may be taken for a living man ; and hence, if the most exact imitation 
of nature be the perfection of art, the art of wax-modelling, as &r as 
portraiture is concerned, may be held to be by far the most perfect. 

This is, however, by no means established; nor is it absolutely 
essential to the progress of this history that it should be ; for if all the 
legitimate orthodox artists in the universe were to form themselves into 
one grand corporation, with the view of upsetting it m toto^ it would 
not mterfere with the indisputable fact, that Valentine was pleased with 
the whole exhibition, and fancied that as he had taken one of the figures 
for Kfe, he ought, in justice to himself, to extend the deception, in order 
to witness its effect upon others. 

Now this singular fancy had no sooner been conceived, than he ob- 
served at the upper part of the room a little ancient individual, who 
was obviously, in his ovm estimation, a decided Narcissus. His hair 
was powdered, and his coat was powdered too : a white cravat sustained 
a very highly glazed collar, which appeared to entertain the design of 
sawing off both his ears ; and while his waistcoat was white, and his 
hat was white, he sported white cords, and white tops to his boots, 
and carried in one hand a pair of white gloves, and a scented white 
handkerchief gracefully in the other. Valentine of course became 
highly amused with the bearing and dress of this respectable individual, 
whose politeness was so excessive, that when persons approached in an 
opposite direction, he would bow and slip aside to allow them to pass, 
— an operation which he had to perform about ten times per minute. 
He nevertheless looked at every figure most intently, and as Valentine 



230 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

almost nneonsciouslj drew near, it struck him that he might, perhaps, 
for a moment inspire the belief that there were fewer inammate objects 
in the room than there really were. Accordingly, just as the ancient 
Narcissus was about to examine the representation of an elderly gentleman 
standing alone, Valentine, throwing his yoioe towards that elderly gen- 
tleman, exclaimed, '^ Ah ! glad to see you ! — how do V* 

Nareissus gazed very curiously, and bowed very profoundly, and 
then with a sweet smile, observed, ^^ Upon my honour, you have the 
advantage of me, — really, — I beg pardon — but positively I " — 

^* What ! have you forgotten me quite ?" said Valentine. 

*' Why where have I had the pleasure of meeting — tut ! — bless my 
life and heart, how stupid to be sure ! — ^I know those features ; and yet, 
for the life of me, I cannot call to mind " — 

'^ Do you mean to say," observed Valentine^ ^' that you don't re- 
member me?" 

Narcissus dropped his head upon his shoulder, and tried with all the 
energy of mind he possessed to recollect where he had met that gentle- 
man before. '^ Why I know you," said he, ^' as well as possible ; and 
yet, do you think that I can call to my recollection ? — bless my life 
and soul, what a memory I have ! — Now this is really very extra- 
ordinary. But wait — wait a bit," he continued, raising his hand to 
enjoin silence ; — ^' At Brighton ? — ^Why to be sure ! — Mr. Pringle. 
My dear friend, how are you 7 I hope I have the pleasure " — 

Narcissus paused, — and very properly; for albeit he held out his 
hand with the view of grasping that of Pringle with affectionate warmth, 
Mr. Pringle by no means displayed a corresponding amount of affection. 
Nareissus looked utterly amazed! He was perfectly unconscious of 
having offended Mr. Pringle ; and therefore felt quite at a loss to account 
for that gentleman's coldness. He could not at all understand it. He 
felt that an immediate explanation was due, and was just on the point 
of demanding such explanation vnth appropriate firmness and force, 
when a remarkable idea flashed at once across his mind, of which the 
substance was, that Pringle was not the man he tookj him for, — 
that he was, in a word, a man of wax ! He therefore pulled up his 
fiery indignation, and examined the figure before him more minutely, 
and having eventually satisfied himself on the particular point at issue, 
he took off his hat and exclidmed, ^' Well ! I never !" — And the fact 
of his having indulged in this extraordinary exclamation was, under 
the peculiar circumstances of the case, an extremely natural &ct ; and 
liere the matter would have ended, but for the mystery ! — he had dis- 
tinctly heard a voice I His eyes might have been, and evidently had 
been, deceived : he was fully prepar^ to admit that; but he certainly 
was not prepared to admit that his ears had been deceived at the same 
time. And yet, whence could the voice have proceeded ? The thing 
was inanimate ! It could not have proceeded from that : it was im- 
possible ; and yet he had heard it ! He examined it again from head 
to foot very minutely, and drew his hand across his chin very lightly, and 
very thoughtfully : but he could not get over it, and Valentine, leaving 
him lost m conjecture, adjourned to a seat in the centre of the room. 



VALBffTimc VOX. 23 1 

Now on the left of this seat there was a figure which he had not seen 
hefore, but which was nominally an exact representation of the beautiful 
Madame St. Amaranthe, of whom the wretch, Robespierre, became 
enamoured, and whom he eyentually destroyed for being sufficiently 
virtuous to reject his addresses. This figure was l3dng at full length 
on a couch ; and it certainly did look as much as possible like a lovely 
little creature asleep. It was perfectly evident that the sympathies of 
those who stood around were very strongly excited, and as they were 
descanting very freely upon the character of the sanguinary monster of 
whom Madame St. Amaranthe was the victim, Valentine threw a series 
of well-directed sobs beneath the veil with which the figure was covered, 
when in an instant the persons who were standing around simulta- 
neously shrank back appalled. 

'^ My goodness !" cried a remarkably stout matron, ^^ if it isn't alive, 
I'm not here !" 

" Gracious, Ma !" exclaimed one of her interesting daughters, ^' How 
excessively ridiculous I" 

*^ Don't tell me, child," rejoined the affectionate matron, *^ when I 
heard the poor dear sobbing, fit to break her heart." 

Valentine here introducea a short cough and after that a long yawn, 
which, seeing that the arm of the figure was placed above the head, 
had a strikingly natural effect. 

'^ There, there ! I knew it was alive ! I said so l^ continued the old 
lady, who being disposed to render ail the assistance in her power was 
about to remove the veil. 

** You reely mustn't touch, mam, if you please," said a girl who was 
stationed near the couch, and who began to explain to an individual in 
her immediate vicinity how extraordinary a thing it was, that notwith- 
standing there was an announcement on almost every figure to the 
efieet, that visitors were not to touch, touch they would, and nothing 
in nature could keep them from touching. 

** Depend upon it, dear," said the matron, in a whisper, it's all an 
imposition ; it's alive dear, and that's the very reason why we mustn't 
touch, to see whether it is or is not.'' 

This acute observation, on the part of the old lady, induced her 
exemplary daughter, who was dressed with extraordinary gaiety, to 
toss her head proudly, and to curl her lip contemptuously, and to ex- 
claun very pointedly, ''Dear me. Ma! now excessively vulgar to be 
sure!" 

^'You may say what you please," rejoined the matron, ''but I 
know what I know," and having made this highly appropriate and 
self-satis&ctory observation, she lo^ed at Madame St. Amaranthe very 
earnestly again. 

" Where are you pushing ?" cried Valentine, assuming the shrill 
voice of a scolding woman, and throwing it towards the figure of a 
little old lady, in a black silk cloak which stood at the foot of the 
couch. 

" You are very polite, I must say," observed a rough individual, 
turning very sharply round, ^" where did y<m go to school f You'd better 



y 



232 ^IFE AND ADVENTURISS OP 

have the whole room to yourself, mann ! Well I'm sure !— what next !" 
and he looked very fiercely, and felt very indignant, until he discovered 
his mistake, when he laughed very heartily, and the people around, of 
couree, joined him very fteely. 

At this moment, however, the two persons who had be^i the imme- 
diate cause of Valentine's visit to the Ezhihition walked past, and the 
sight of them plunged him into misery again. He felt wretched, par- 
ticularly wretched. His dearest hopes liuod heen dashed from the emi* 
nence to which they had been raised, and that eminence was so high 
that they appeared to have reached the very deptlis of despair. '^ Am 
I never to see her again," thought he, '* never V* He rose and left the 
room ; and as he proceeded towards home, two lines of a song which 
he had heard in infancy suggested themselves, and wliich ran somehow 
thtts:-« 



** Shall I never again hear her yoice, 
Nor Bee her loyed form any mote ? 



i» 



And the peculiarly interesting interrogatoiy involved was so appropriate, 
that he involuntanly hummed the poetical reply, namely, 

" No, no, no, I shall never see her more! 
No, no, no, I shall never see her more 1 
No ! no ! no ! I shall netjer see her more !" 



CHAPTER XXX. 



(KX)DHAN MATURES BIS PLAN OF ESCAPE. THE C0MMIS8I0NEBS AR- 
BXVE. HE PREPARES TO CONVINCE THEM OF HIS ABSOLUTE SANITY, 
AND IS GOADED ON TO MADNESS. HE RECOVERS; AND HAVING 
REORGANIZED HIS FORCES, RESOLUTELY MAKES THE ATTACK. 

Notwithstanding Whitely laboured to inspire his friend with the 
conviction that the design he had conceived would be impracticable, 
Goodman, who saw no other prospect before him than that c^ perpetual 
imprisonment if that design were not carried into actual execution, had 
been busily occupied, maturing his scheme every day since that on which 
the important subject was broached. He sounded all in whom he felt 
that confidence might be placed, and with pleasure found aJl whom he 
sounded willing to join lum. Still Whitely felt doubtful of success. 
He saw twenty men, of whom the majority were young and muscular, 
prepared to make a simultaneous effort to regain that Imerty of which 
they had been with really cruel injustice deprived ; yet, although there 
were but five or six keepers to be conquered, he bdieved that the minds 
of the twenty had become so enfeebled, that their spirits had been, by 
brutal treatment, so broken, and their native resolution so completely 
subverted, that however delighted with the project they might be, how- 
ever anxious they might seem to cany it into effect, when the moment 



VALENTINE TOX. 233 

for aciton anived, they would shrink hack dismayed, and thus secure 
to the siz ruffians a signal triumph. 

The process of organization, notwithstanding, went on,*— the day 
was fixed ; but in proportion as Goodman became more resolute and 
sanguine of success,. his friend Whitely became more feverish and fear* 
fuL 

The day arrived; and on the morning of that day, they ascertained 
that two of the keepers out of the six were to be absent, in all proba-* 
bility with the view of seizing another victim. 

^^ Now," exclaimed Goodman, on hearing this news, " we aiie safe I 
Nothing could have been more fortunate. Kveiything, my friend, is in 
our favour. There will now be but four of these men to overcome, and, 
if taken by surprise, there may be but one. What, therefore, think 
you now 7 Why if even the hearts of two-thirds of our companions 
were to sink, success would be certain." 

Whitely shook his head mournfully and sighed, and slightly trembled, 

^' My dear, dear friend," continued Goodman, '^ be firm. Upon my 
life, I doubt your resolution more than that of any man to whom I have 
spoken on the subject. Consider the monstrous character of our po- 
sition. Consider how we have been kidnapped — stolen from society ; 
consider also, that unless we do make our escape thus, imprisonment 
for life is inevitable." 

^' I do," returned Whitely, ^* I do consider all ; but I cannot avoid 
looking at the consequences of a £a.iluie." 

'^ A failure !" exclidmed Goodman ; *^ It is madness to think of it. 
Think of success, my dear friend, not of failure. Suppose we admit 
the possibility, or even the probabihty of failure ; what then ? Is 
not the chance of regainmg our liberty worth all the risk ? Are we, 
or are we not to make the attempt? If we are, why then, perish the 
thought of a failure! Why should we think of it 7 What was ever 
achieved by entertaining the thought ? What would have been our 
national character if the consequences of failure had preyed upon our 
souk ? We have been, as a nation, invariably successful, because we 
have invariably felt sure of success, even under the most adverse cir- 
cumstances. Had it not been for that, we should have been in the 
world's estimation a nation of cowards. Why speak of a fiiilure, tiien, 
now? In a case like this, which entirely depends upon individual 
firmness and resolution, we must succeed, if we believe we shall succeed ; 
but we cannot succeed if we fear that we shall fail. Come ! come I 
be a man. Think of twenty opposed to four ; and the cause of that 
twenty indisputably just: think of this, and feel ashamed to dream 
even of a failure. If we be but firm, our freedom will be achieved : I 
feel perfectly certain of that. All depends upon us. We are to lead, 
and have therefore the power within ourselves to inspire our companions 
with the courage of lions, or to cause them to cringe like spaniels again. 
Shall we not make the attempt?" 

** We will !" cried Whitely, with unusual firmness, grasping the 
hand of Gh>odman as he spoke, ^* We will ! — come what may, the at- 
tempt shall be made." 

H H 



284 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

(Goodman was delighted. He felt far more sangaiiie than ever. He 
went round to his companions, spoke to them cautiously one hy one, 
lest suspicion should be excited, and found them all impatient to com> 
mence the attack. Twilight, however, was considered the fittest period 
for the commencement of operations. Goodman was then to ^ve the 
signal by drawing forth a sheet which he had cut into strips, with which 
the principal keeper was to be bound, when, having obtsuned the keys, 
they were to rush to the door which led to the residence of the proprietor 
of the asylum, and which they had but to pass to be free. This waa 
well understood by them all, and all were anxious for the day to wear 
away ; but just as they were about to be summoned to what, by an ex- 
traordinary stretch of the imaginatioD, was conceived to be a dinner, it 
was announced that the commissioners had unexpectedly arrived, when, 
of course a general rush was made by the servants of the establishment, 
with the view of getting things in order for the mockery of an in- 
spection about to toke phtce. 

^' Now," sidd Whitely, the moment he heard of their arrival, ^ as 
£ur as you are 'concerned, this attempt need not be made. The commie- 
sioners were not expected : the keepers have therefore no time to excite 
you ; and as you are the only 'patient' whom they have not yet seen, yon 
are perfectly sure to be called before them. Be firm ; be composed : for 
Heaven 8 sake, my friend, say nothing which may develop the smaUeat 
degree of excitement. Appeal to their judgment. Be calm — quite calm. 
The keepers may wish you to take ^ glass of wine before you enter 
the drawing-room : if they should, be sure that it is drugged ; be quite 
sure !— on no account touch it. Remember, my friend, the way in 
which they excited me^ and thus made it appear that I was really 
insane, which the conmiissioners believe to this day. Therefore do not 
touch anything before you see them, as you value your liberty." 

This caution was received with gratitude by (Goodman, who fdt sure 
that he should be able to convince the commissioners that he was a per- 
fectly sane man, and therefore at once began to think of the best mode of 
commencing his appeal ; but while he was thus engaged in the full convic- 
tion of success, the proprietor was occupied in giving instructions to his 
head-keeper ; for he aLao felt certain that Goodman — whose mildness 
and perfect self-possession he had had ample opportunities of witnessing 
— ^would, if fair play were allowed, succeed in establishing his perfect 
sanity ; and he did not forget that, in such an event, he should, of 
oourse, lose one of the most profitable patients he had. 

Accordingly, Goodman had scarcely time to decide on the com- 
mencement of his address, before the head-keeper Altered the garden, 
and addressing him, shouted, '* Now then, — ^here, — y<n$ ! — ^This way, 
here, you're wanted !" 

'' Success I success !" exclaimed Whitely ; *' Be calm ! God bless you ! 
My dear friend, God bless jom !" And as the friends shook hands, the 
tear which stood in Whitely 's eye portrayed the feelings of his heart 
with far more eloquence than words. 

*^ Now then I" shouted the keeper, *' how much longer are you going 
for to make me keep waiting here, hay V* 




' ^,;„/,://., „,„/„,:,, 



VALENTINE VOX. 2S5 

Goodman joined him at once with the utmost firmness. He felt that 
all depended upon his tranquil bearing then, and hence determined not 
to notice any indignity that might be offered. Instead, however, of 
being introduced to the Commissioners, who were appropriately taking 
wine in the drawing-room, the keeper led him to the cell in which 
he slept, and in which he found another keeper loaded with an arm- 
full of chains. 

*^Now then," cried the principal ruffian, ^^come, strip! and look 
alive." 

^' Am I not to see the commissioners ?" enquired Goodman, caliply. 

^^ And no mistake, you are. They're a coming here directly. So 
you'd better look sharp !" 

"^Pray," said Gt>odman, humbly, yet earnestly, "allow me to see them 
as I am." 

" Strip, I say, and be quick ! d*ye hear me ? come ! I'm not going to 
stand all thish 'ere dilly dallying. Sam ! here, just lug off his coat." 
And the fellow threw the chains upon the ground, and tore the coat 
off accordingly. 

" My good men, pray tell me your object in " 

" Silence V interrupted the ruffian, "Hold your mouth, or I'll make 
yer I" 

The very moment the coat was off, they slipped on a strait waistcoat, 
and then threw him down upon the bed ; and while one of them was 
fastening an iron collar round his neck, and locking the chain attached 
to a stanchion, the other was engaged in pulling off his shoes and stock- 
ings, and chaining his legs firmly to the Irnttom of the bed. 

G^oodman remamed silent. " Let them do what they please," thought 
he, " I shall still have the power to speak to the commissioners. Let 
them load me with chains, I must not be excited." 

The fiileeves of the strait wainscoat, were now tied to the bedstead, on 
either side; his bare feet were chained securely; he was unable to 
move hand or foot, he had not even the power to raise his head. 

" Now," said the principal ruffian, addressing his assistant, " Do you 
go down, and let me know when they're a-coming." 

The fdlow obeyed, and the moment he had done so, the keeper de- 
liberately drew a feather from his breast, and having straightened it, 
and looked at it with an air of the most intense satis&ction, knelt down 
at the foot of the bed. 

" What, in Heaven's name," thought Goodman, "is about to take place ? 
My good man," he exclaimed, in a state of great alarm, " what, what 
are you going to do with me V* 

Scarcdy had the last word been uttered when the miscreant began 
to tickle the soles of his victim's feet ! 

" Oh ! ohr exclaimed Goodman ; " Oh ! Do not ! Pray do not ! 
Oh ! — God ! I cannot endure it ! Mercy ! Murder ! Murder ! Murder !" 
and he struggled and shrieked, and the more he shrieked and struggled 
the more quickly was the feather applied. The blood rushed to his 
head. He strained horribly. The torture was exquisite. His cries 
might have pierced the heait even of a fiend, yet that wretch still kept 



23^ LIFB AKD ADTEIfTUBSS OF 

up the dreadftd process. ^ My Ood ! My Ood V* exclaimed Goodman, 
"What agony!" 

These were the last woids he oonsdonsly uttered, for his veins began 
to swell, and his face became black, and his eyes appeared to be in the 
act of starting from their sockets. The room shook with his conyu]<- 
sions. He raved with maniacal fury ! In a word, he had been goaded 
to madness. 

^^ They are here ! they are here !" cried the assistant, rushing into the 
room. 

" All rieht ; I*ve done the trick,'* said the miscreant, concealing the 
feather, and throwing a blanket over the feet of his victim. 

The commissioners entered ! Goodman was a maniac I — ^lanshing 
and raving, alternately — torturing his features into shapes the most hideous 
— writhing with frightful energy to get loose, and screaming horribly. 

" Here is the poor man," observed the humane proprietor, with an 
expression of the purest sympathy ; " Poor gentleman ! Really, it is 
enough to make one's heart bleed to see him." 

'' Dreadful !" cried one of the commissioners. 

" Dreadful, indeed I" exclaimed another. 

" Poor fellow ! Is he often thus V enquired a third. 

" Not very often so out-and-out bad, sir," replied the brutal keeper ; 
^^ only about twice a week ; and he's much to be pitied : there ain't a 
patient I pities more than him." And he winked at the proprietor, uid 
the proprietor winked at him, as the commissioners drew near to the 
bedside, while poor Goodman was shouting, "Villains I Murderers! 
Fiends !" He was mad ! — ^raving mad I xhe commissioners were 
satisfied. Accustomed as they had been to such scenes, this struck 
them with horror, and they prepared to leave the room. 

" It's shocking when they are so," observed the christian proprietor, 
" truly shocking. Take care of him, Johnson ; treat him tenderly, poor 
man!" 

" I will, sir, depend on't," replied the keeper ; and the commissioners 
quitted the scene, much affected. 

The very moment they had left, the miscreant burst into a loud roar 
of laughter, and congratulated himself on the success of his brutal ex- 
periment. He had tried it before frequently ; and althouffh one of his 
victims had died under the dreadful operation, while anotner had been 
struck with paralysis, and a third had been reduced to a state of idiotcy, 
in which he continued till death, it had occasionally so far failed as to 
induce almost immediate exhaustion, which had been found not to 
answer the proposed end so well. In this case, however, he had been 
perfectly successful, and therefore, after having remained in the room 
until the commissioners had quitted the asylum, he left his raving 
victim with a fiend-like smile to receive the applause of his infiuions 
master. 

Poor Goodman's dreadful paroxysm lasted without a moment's inter- 
mission for more than six hours ; and when consciousness returned, his 
exhaustion was so absolute, that he instantly sank into a deep heavy 
sleep — a sleep, indeed, so profound, that although the two keepers di« 



VALEMTDCB VOX. 287 

vested him of the ohains, the strait waistcoat, and the iron collar, and 
even completely undressed him, he did not awake. 

About twelve o'dock, however, that night, he was aroused by a 
series of desperate pinches, and, on opening his eyes, he perceived the 

groprietor — who had become apprehensive of losing a patient for whom 
e was so liberally paid — stanmng over him. 

*^ Wa-ater 1" he gasped, after a violent effort to uncleave his tonffue 
from the roof of his mouth ; and the proprietor gave him a cormal, 
which in a short time considerably revived him. 

" How horribly ! — oh I how horribly have I been used \" said Good- 
man, fiiintly, as soon as he had recovered the power to speak. *' I 
hope you did not authorise this dreadful treatment V he continued, aa 
the feverish tears rolled upon the pillow on either side as he lay. 

** Dreadful treatment !" exclaimed the proprietor, with an expression 
of utter amazement. '' What dreadful treatoient?" 

Goodman briefly, but warmly explained. 

** Pooh ! It's aU your delusion," exclaimed the proprietor, — ^*' It's all 
your deltman !*' 

'* Delusion !" fechoed Goodman in a mournful tone. '^ That man, 
that desperately wicked man well knows that it is no delusion. May 
God in his mercy forgive him !" he continued ; and again the tears 
gushed from his eyes ; his heart was full, and he sobbed bitterly. 

^* Johnson \" said the proprietor in an angry tone, *^ Have you been 
ill-using this patient V* 

^* Me, sir ! Me ill-use patients ! I never ill-uses 'em : on the con- 
trajrry, I always treats 'em in the kindestest manner. How ever pa- 
tients can get up sich 'bom'nable lies, puts me out altogether : but then 
they know nothink, you know, when they're that way. The Gonunift- 
sioners seed that there wam't no mistake." 

^^ The commissioners !" cried Goodman, *' Then they have been here* 
They have seen me, in all probability, raving. They are satisfied that 
I -am mad ! Oh, vUlany !— Monstrous villany I" 

*^ Come, come ! none of that ! none of that !" cried the proprietor ; 
<* compose yourself, and don't run away with such flwcies. I tell you, 
it's all your delusion, and nothing but delusion: go to sleep: go to 
sleep." And thus he left him. 

*^ Now," said the ruffian, when his master had left, *' do you want 
any other little thing afore I ^o ; cos if you do, you don't have it. I 
ill-uses you, do I ? Never mmd. I'U sarve you out for that, one of 
these here odd days, mark my words; now, you mind if I don't !" And 
he slammed the door of the oeU, and having locked it securely, poor 
Goodman was left to his reflections for the mght. 

For one entire week he never quitted his cell ; which, independently 
of the acute physical pain he endured was, of itself, a dreadful species of 
torture, for neither a book nor a paper of any description was he 
allowed ; not a soul was he permitted either to speak to or to see, with 
the single exception of that savage ruffian, the very right of whom in* 
duoed an involuntary slmdder. 

Meanwhile, his companions in misfortune were marvelling what had 



238 LIFB AND ADVENTVRBS OF 

become of him. The keepers would of couiqe, give them no information. 
They could not hear of his being still in the asylum, nor could they 
hear of his liaving obtained his liberty ; but when four or five days had 
elapsed, the impression became general that, having succeeded in con- 
vincing the commissioners of his sanity, he had been quietly suffered to 
depart. 

At the expiration of the week, however, he acain appeared amongst 
them, and the feelings which were excited by his re^appearanoe, were 
those of mingled pleasure and regret. As far as they were concerned, 
they were detighted to see him; for the goodness of his heart, which 
was at all times conspicuous, had won their affections ; but as for as 
lemded himself, they beheld him with sorrow. 

Their ^dness was, however, soon permitted to preponderate ; for al- 
though he was feverish and ph3r8ically weak, his strength of mind had 
been unimpaired by the monstrous outrage to which he had been sub- 
jected, and being, if possible, more firmly determined than before to 
effect an escape, they viewed him as their liberator, and phoed im- 
plicit confidence in his judgment and resolution. He aroused their 
enthusiasm by an explanation of what had occurred, and they looked 
upon success as a matter of course. There was, however, one whose 
enthusiasm he could not excite, and that was Whitely — the hor- 
rible consequences of a fiulure having again taken possession of his 
BouL 

**My friend," said that gentleman, when Goodman had laboured 
to warm him asain with his eloquence^ ^' let us now trust entirely to 
Providence. He never deserts those who put their whole trust in 
Him." 

'^ I believe it," said Goodman, ^' I firmly, religiously believe it : I 
do trust in Providence, and have implicit confidence in His goodness : 
it is hence that I believe that our enterprise will be successful, being, as 
it is, indisputably based upon justice ; but be assured that it never was 
intended that a man should trust in Providence and be inactive, — that 
be should sufier those faculties with which he has been endowed, to lie 
dormant, looking to Providence for the accomplishment of that which 
Providence has given him the power to achieve." 

" If we believe," rejoined Whitely, " that He who works the uni- 
verse, ffuides even the wprm ; that He permits the varied ills of human 
life, and forms the varied moulds in which the minds of men are oast^ and 
that in His judgments He is merdfiil and just ; how can we believe that 
He will ever desert those who put their whole trust and confidence in 
Him ? We have suffSsied ; we suffsr still ; but did suffering increase in 
power with its age, we must have been goaded to deatli or to madness ; 
but even in our position, we see that pain and pleasure cannot be di- 
▼oroed, for there is no wound which can be inflicted, at which we do not 
feel the God of Nature administering, at least, the balm of hope. Man 
never despairs. He cannot do so wholly. He looks to Him with con- 
fidence^ even in the last extremity. In Him, therefore, let us confide. 
Let us look to Him for aid. Let us hope! — still hope!— and be 
resigned." 



YALENTINE TOX. 230 

^^ My friend," said Goodman, solemnly, ^^ the presence of lesignation 
in such a case as this of necessity supposes the absence of hope. When 
liberty is wounded, men tcill hope ; they mourn, and mourn, and call 
her virtues up, and pant and pray for her recovery — the slightc»st change 
reanimates their souls while they believe that she yet may be restored : 
it is when she becomes to us dead, when we are sure that she is gone, 
never, never to return, that hope gives place to resignation. I feel, with 
you, that they who finnly confide in Him will not do so in vain ; but that 
feeling by no means prompts the conviction, that all human exertion is 
therefore unnecessary, or that all such exertion, of necessity, amounts to 
opposition to His will. We look to Him for aid ; but is it, therefore, 
our duty to lie dormant ? That, indeed, would be illustrating with a 
vengeance the apathetic faith of the fabled waggoner, who called for the 
aid of Jupiter. We must put our own shoulders to the i^dieel, my 
friend. Aide tot, et U del faidera" 

It by no means required all this to convince Mr. Whitely of the fact, 
that trusting in Providence did not suppose it to be the duty of man to 
remain inactive ; but being anxious to induce Goodman to forego his 
design, he had recourse to every thing bearing even the semblance of an 
argument which might tend to subvert his resolution. Finding, how- 
ever, that this was impossible, he again declared his readiness to join 
him, and promised to think no more of a failure, but to act with the 
resolute firmness of a man feeling perfectly sure of success. 

Accordingly, the next day was fixed upon as the one on which the 
attempt should be made, about twilight ; and Goodman, by calling into 
action all the eloquence at his command, succeeded in inspiring his 
companions with so much courage, that they were to a man as deter- 
mined as himself. 

The morning came ; and on being turned into the garden, they all 
seemed to have the impression, that it was for the li^ time. They 
breathed more freely, and stepped more lightly, and smiled at each other 
with an air of satisfaction tiie most absolute. The day appeared to 
wear away but slowly, for they held as little communication as possible 
with each other lest the keepers should have their suspicion aroused. 

Twilight approached ! and all, save Goodman and Whitely, who 
remained firm as rocks, were in a state of the most feverish excitement. 

Their lips were pale, and their hearts beat violently. They walked 
round and round, and to and fro, with hurried steps, tugging at the 
sleeves of their coats, trying the firmness of the muscles of their arms, 
and grinding their teeth with apparent desperation. They could not 
control the dovelopment of their feelings. *^^Be firm I" whispered Good- 
man to each as they passed him, ^* Be firm 1" and each replied with a 
look of resolution. 

^^Now^ said Goodman, addressing Whitely, as the ruffian who had 
tortured him entered the garden. " The time is come I Every eye is 
upon us. See ! all are prepared. They will rush to our aid in an 
instant. Not a man vnSL keep back ; not one of them — I know it ! 
Now, all is understood. The very moment we have him down, we 
bind him ; when, having obtained possession of his keys, we rush to 



%$0 LIFE AND ▲DTENTURBS OF 

that door which leads into thehouBe, and we are ficee, my friend — ^free! 
Ones commenoey we ronet, of oonxse, break ihioufffa all oppoation," 

The friends shook hands. ^* I am ready/' said Whitdy. The keeper 
approached, with his hands in his pockets, whistline snatches of popular 
tunes. Every eye was fixed on Goodman. The Keeper passed I and 
Croodman, in an instant, drew the cord from his breast, and haying 
thrown it over the head of the ruffian, brou^t him heavily to the grouniL 

^ Now !" cried Whitely, ^' Now f" and his companions rushed like 
lightning to the spot. '* Help ! Murder !" shouted the keeper, struggling 
desperately, and dragging down several of his assailants. 

** Stop his mouth, cned Goodman, ^^ Bind his legs ! Now his arms ! 
The keys ! the keys !" he shouted, holding them up, and his com- 
panions gave a deafening cheer. 

Such a cheer had never before been heard within those waUs. The 
poor insane people appeared perfectly electrified, and began to laugh and 
shout, and to perform the most extraordinary antics, dancing, capering, 
and rolling about the garden in a state of ecstatic delight. 

Two keepers rushed <5ut ! The insane people ran into a comer ; but 
Goodman's companions were firm. " Down with them !" cried Whitely, 
and the keepers were dashed to the ground on the instant. Another 
appeared ! *' Ofier no opposition I" wouted Gh>odman, '* stand aside !" 
But the fellow at once sprang at him and seiased him t^y the throat, 
which Whitely no sooner perceived, than with one well-aimed blow he 
struck the ruffian to the earth ; and another shout, louder than the first, 
re-inspired them. 

" To the door 1" cried Goodman, " To the door I— Follow me !"— and 
they darted through the asylum to the door which communicated with 
the residence of the proprietor. 

At that door, a gigantic keeper armed with a bludgeon, stood 
wuting to receive them. '' Stand back !" he cried, '' Standi 111 dash 
the brams out of the fint man that dares to come near me !" 

Goodman sprang at him on the instant, and the uplifted bludgeon 
descended upon the head of Whitely with so much force, that it brought 
him to the ground. 

^* Villain !" cried Goodman, seizing the instrument, which he even- 
tually wrenched from the ruffian's grasp. 

" Go on !" shouted Whitely, " I'm not hurt ; go on ! — ^Now ! — ^the 

keys I" 

They were lost ! — ^*^ No matter !" cried (Goodman, and he dashed in 
the door at one blow with the bludgeon. 

** Hurrah !" again shouted the prisoners. Another door had to be 
passed. The proprietor on hearing the shouts, had darted to that door, 
which he opened the very moment it was about to be dashed down. 

**• Stand aside!" cried Goodman; '^ Stop us at your peril I" and he 
and Whitely sprang through the house and were free ! 

Nome followed. ^ Let us go back," cried Goodman, " to thdr as- 



*« Not for your /t>.'"— ^xdaimed Whitely, '' Come on!** 

On th^ went. — Still none followed ! — ^not one ! — ^The very instant 



TALBNTINB YOX. 241 

ihe^ had padaed, the pvQprietory with desperate energy forced to the 
door and looked the spring I In Tain the prisoners dacdied up against 
it. It defied all their efforts. They could not make it yield. They 
eventually succeeded in kicking in the weakest portion of the lower 
panel, but at the moment three of the keepers, armed with pitchforks, 
came round, and, by striking at the legs of the patients through the 
iq)erture, Iwoied all who sto(Kl within their reach. 

^* Back I back !'' they shouted, *^ back ! — if you value your souls ;** 
and having stuck their forks into the flesh of tho patients until they 
retreated in despair, they threw open the door, rushed upon them wi^ 
savage desperation, and in less than ten minutes they were in a state of 
the most absolute insensibility, handcuffed and chained ! 

**• Where's Johnson ? Where's Johnson V* cried the proprietor, when 
this had been accomplished. '' Where's Johnson V 

He was still in the garden, where he lay bound and bellowing with 
n^ while half a dosaen idiots were dan^ng their hands and £moing 
immd and round him with infinite elee. 

His bvother ruffians now heard him. He was instantly lelcaaed, and 
on being informed of the escape of Goodman and Whitely, he and the 
giant mslied into the stable, twisted the halters mto the moutlis of two 
hetsee, and, taking a rope with them, gallopped off at once without 
either saddle or brrale towards town. 

The two friends had got some considerable distance, when, being 
exhausted, they crept behind a hedge. They heard the horses tearing 
along the road, and saw the keepers urging them forward with looks of 
desperation. They approached; and tne two friends would scarcely 
allow themselves to breathe. They passed ! — at full gallop. ** Bravo 1" 
said Whitely, ** now, now we are secure. Now let us be off." 

** No, no I'' cried Goodman, *^ not yet; not yet: they are not out 
of sight." 

" Be guided by me," r^oined Whitely, " I know every inch of the 
road. Let us once get across this field, and we shall be far more safe 
than we are here. Gome, come ! there's not a moment to be lost." 

Goodman yielded : they started off, and the keepers saw them in an 
instant. 

^ Quick, quick ! we are perceived 1" cried Whitby. 

The keepers turned ; leaped their horses over the hedge, and were in 
the field before Groodman had got half across it. 

" Come on !" shouted Whitely, " Come on I" 

^^ Th^ must catch us," cried Goodman, " let us stop to take breath, 
and meet them firmly man to man." 

** Come on ! come on !" reiterated Whitely. 

*^ TuibT shouted Goodman, ^ we shall be exhausted : we shall not 
be able to oope with tliem. Tumi" 

Whitely did tinrn. '* Be resolute," he cried ; '' give me the stick : 
I am stronger than you." 

The next mmnent l&e keepers were on the spot. ** As you value 
your lives," exclaimed Whitely, '^ keep off!" 

The keepers alighted with an expression of contempt, and at onoe 

1 1 



242 LIPB AKD ADTENTUSBS OF 

rashed upon them. Whitely aimed a desperate blow at the' head of 
Johnson, and struck him to the ground, and at the same instant| Good- 
man was felled by the giant. 

^^Fij and save yourself I Fly!" shouted (Goodman, as the giant 
knelt upon him. 

^* Never f' cried Whitely, *^ until you are free.'* And he rashed 
upon the gigantic ruffian, who caught him as he rashed, and held them 
both down together. 

^^ Now, now!" cried the giant^ *^ bring the ropes! — bring the 
ropes !" 

Johnson rose and shook his head. Whitely's blow had confused him. 
He did, however, manage to stagger up to the spot, and the giant, 
while kneeling upon Goodman's neoL, bound Whitely hand and foot. 

^' Now for the horses ! Bring the horses ! — ^here !*' shouted the giant. 
Johnson staggered towards them and fell. 

Goodnum could not be bound. They had no more rope left. To secure 
him, the ^ant, therefore, gave him a blow upon the head which stunned 
him, and ran for the horses himsdf. He soon brought them to the 
spot, and threw Whitely across the back of one of them just as he would 
have thrown a sack of oats ; ' and having placed Johnson behind, he 
threw Goodman in the same way across the back of the other and 
mounted himself; and thus the two friends were carried back to the 
asylum as nearly as possible dead. - 



CHAPTER XXXI. 



UNCLE JOHN ANNOUNCES HIS INTENTION OF RUNNING UP TO TOWN, 
AND VALENTINE VISITS A WEALTHY INDIVIDUAL, TO WHOM HE 
FAILS TO IMPART MUCH PLEASURE. 

On the morning of the day on which the occurrences recorded in the 
preceding chapter took place, Yalentine received a long-expected letter 
from Uncle John, which ran as follows:— 

*^ Mt Dear Bot. — I vrish to know what it is you mean, sir, by want- 
ing more money ? Have you any idea how much you have had ? Does it 
happen totirike you that you are living at a rainous rate ? I dare say that 
you have been at some expense in endeavouring to discover friend Good- 
man ; and you are a good boy, no doubt, for your pains, poor fellow ! 
But do you think that I am made of money, eh ? I shall send you 
no more, sb ! — ^not another shilling. It puzzles me however yon get 
rid of so much. When I was your age, a hundred a-year would have 
enabled me to live like a prince ; and here yon have been living away at 
the rate of four ! What do you mean, sir ? Do you thiiu: that I 
pick money up in the street? An extravagant dog! Why, you'd 
beggar the Bank of England, and so your mother says, and I perfectly 



VALENTINE VOX. 243 

agiee with her ; and she insists upon your keeping an account of every 
shilling you spend, and how you spend it, that we may know that you 
spend it properly. No doubt you get sadly imposed upon, and living 
in London is very ezpensiYe I dare say; but these extravagancies 
must be checked, and they ought to be checked: your mother says 
that they ought to be checked ; and I am exactly of her way of thinking. 
Mark my words, eir, extravagance is the root of all evil ; and I there- 
fore don't feel myself justified in encouraging you in anything of the 
sort, by supplying you with the means of being extravagant. But 
don't return. I'll not allow you t» come back until you have found 
Goodman. I am quite of your opinion that there has been some 
foul play. I'll be bound to say that it is so ; but I'm not at all 
satisfied with your exertions in the matter. Do you suppose that if I 
were in London I should not have discovered him long before this ? 
You don't go the right way to work about the business. I'm sure you 
don't. You can't. And now I come to think of it, 111 run up to 
London myself. I'll soon find him out. It is all very well to look, and 
look ; but it is ahivays my plan to go to the fountain head at once^ 
You will see me some day, about the week after next. I don't exactly 
know which day ; but as you have nothing much to do, you can be at 
the inn where the coach arrives, every evemng till you see me. 

*' Your poor mother has not been so well the last two or three days. 
She caught cold the other evening coming from the Beeches. I knew 
she womd, because she always does ; and I said so, but she wouldn't 
believe me, and now she finds out her mistake. She sends her dearest 
love, which is more than you deserve, and accept the same firom, 

" My dear boy, 

^^ Your most affectionate Uncle, 

"John Long." 

^ P.S. — I have said, that I'll not send you up another shilling, and 
111 not break my word ; but, if you shoiUd — ^mark ! if you tJwuld — 
want any money, before you see me, you can go to Mr. Fledger ; you 
know his address, and as there is a balatice between us of sixty pounds 
or so in my fiivour, you tnay get him to give you five pounds, if you 
like, but on no account draw more than twenty — ^mind l^at. 

" Expect to see me about next Wednesday se'nnight. Be sure, my 
dear boy, that you meet me at the coach. God bless you. — J. L." 

The portion of this affectionate episUe which gave the greatest 
pleasure to Valentine was the announcement of Uncle John's intention 
to visit London. He knew that, whatever might be said about extra- 
vaganoe in the body of the letter, there would oe something in a pecu- 
niary point of view rather pleasing in the postscript ; but he did not 
expect that the old gentleman could ever have been prevailed upon to 
come up to town. It was precisely what Valentine wanted him to do, 
and he was therefore delighted with the announcement ; and having 
ascertained from the widow, Smugman, that she would, with much 
pleasure, and moreover could, with great convenience and comfort, 
provide the accommodation required, he began to think of Pledger, who 



244 LIFE Aim ADTBMTUBBB OP 

resided at BennoiidBey, and of whom he was to loeeive nol wmrt than 
twenty pounds. 

Valentine had fireqnently heaxd of Mr. Pledger. He had heaid of hk 
heing the owner of an immense number of houses, and consequently a 
man of confflderable wealth. He knew that Uncle John became ac* 
quainted with the ezistonoe of such an individual thxourii a friend to 
whom he had sold some property in Essex, of which fled^er beeame 
subsequently possessed, in conaderation of his pa3dhg to Unde John the 
balance of the purchase-money due, and this was all that he knew of 
Mr. Fledffer. 

He had however heard, in addition to this, that there was no dianos 
of catching that gentleman at home until the evening, and havine aooord- 
ingly waited until the evening drew near, he started off, with his heart 
and purse equally light. 

It struck iiim, however, as he passed down Regent Street, that the 
distance to Bermondsey was rather too great for him to walk ; and 
being anxious on that particular occasion to act upon the most approved 
principle of economy, he decided upon patronizing an Omnibus as frr as 
tlie Elephant and Castle. He, therefore, hailed the very first that 
came up, and jumped in ; but, before he could reach a vacant seat, the 
conductor, who perceived at that moment an opposition Omubns ap- 
proaching, slammed the door, when, as the horses, knovnng the ngnal, 
at once started off, he was forcibly thrown backwards upon the knees 
of the passengers, who permitted him to slip very quietlyupon the straw. 

This was pleasant. Ho thought it very pleasant ; especially as the 
people at that interesting moment began to laugh very loudly and veiy 
merrily. He scrambled up, however, by no means disconcerted, and 
having at length reached a seat, he waited patienUy until the burst of 
merriment had subsided, when being determined to take his revenge out 
of the conductor, he shouted, ^^ Ho !" throwing his voice tovmr£ that 
person, who was perched upon a board by the side of the door, where, 
with one of his arms hooked in a straip, and the other raised high in the air, 
he peipetnally bawled, '« Cas-o// / Elephant Cas-a^/ Cas-otf /" 

** Ho r' shouted Valentine, louder than before. 

'' Hold hard !" cried the conductor, and the vehicle stopped. Of 
course no one attempted to move. ^^ Look alive, sir, please," he con- 
tiuued, as thb opposition omnibus passed him. ^ Any lady or gend- 
man want to get out V 

^* The Circus !" cried Valentine, in an assumed voice, of course. 

*^The Cirkiss ! Why couldn't yer say so?*' observed the oonductor, 
and he slammed the door to with additional violence. 

It thus became clear, that this course of proceeding was one of which 
he did not exactiy approve. He, notwithstanding, cried, ^ Hold hard,'' 
on reaching the Circus, and descended from his perch to re-open the 
door. ^' Now then, sir ! The Cirkiss !" he continued, '^ what genelman 
wants to get dovm at the Cirkiss ?" 

To this natural question no answer was returned, a foct which struck 
the conductor as being most extraordinary ! he didn't know exactly 
what to make of it ! he couldn't understand it at all ! 



TALBMnXB VOX. 24& 

^ Yoa will not foiffoi to put me down al the Aiheiifleuin Club/' ob- 
served aa elderly genfleman who sat near the door. 

^^ The Athneem ! — you said the Cirkias just now! I wish people 
could know thnr own minds I'' cried the conductor, who was not per- 
haps the mildest individual in existence, and who had possibly been 
prompted to make that observation by the foot, that at that particular 
instant, a$iotker oppontion omnibus passed him. 

^ ^^ It was not I," observed the elderly ffentleman, who evidently prided 
himself upon the strikingly grammatiou construciion of hb sentences. 
**" It was not I who said the Circus : it was the gentleman whom you 
previonaly addiessed." 

Long before this highly appropriate speech, short as it was, had been 
brought to a conclusion, the conductor had closed the door, and the 
hones had started o£P again ; while the passengers were lookii^ very 
earnestly at each other, wiUi the Liudable view of ascertaining who it 
was that had agnified a v?ish to alight at the Circus. 

They were utterly unable, however, to get at the fact which at that 
particular period of time interested them so deeply. They had their 
sn^ctons ; and the object of those suspicions was a cadaverous looking 
person, with black wiry whiskers, who appeared to be fast asleep at the 
fiurther end of the vehide ; but that, of course, according to the general 
impression, was a feint. 

^^ Now/' said the conductor, as he opened the door on arriving at the 
comer of Waterloo-place, " p'raps this ere 'U suit yer V 

^^ It is here that I wished to alight/' replied the Athenaoum gentle- 
man emphatically. 

^' Wdl, come, that's a blessing any how," rejoined the conductor, 
who was by no means an ill-tempered man, but occarionally very 
sarcastic. 

*^ What is that you say, sir?" cried the Athenseum ^ntleman, 
whom the conductor's ironicaJ observation had fiiiled to propitiate. 
^' Why, ony that it's a comfort you're suited at last." 
^^ I beg," said the gentleman of the Athenasum, handing over his 
sixpence, ^ that you 'mil not be impertinent, or I shall be under the 
disagreeable necessity of taking your number." 

Tliis roused the indignation of the conductor, who very prpmntly, 
and very loudly cried, ** Take it ! D'yer vnmt to stop the buss a million 
o' times, while all the other busses is cuttin past us ?" 

The gentleman of the Athenaaum looked perfectly amazed, and wbb 
about to give expression to his sentiments on the subject ; but before he 
had time to commence, the conductor having intimated that that wouldn't 
agree vrith his comphunt, banged the door, hopped with infinite alacrity 
upon his perch, and renewed his *' Cas-o// / £l'phant,Cas-atf / Cas-o// 1" 
— and continued thus to shout until they stopped at Charing Cross. 

In front of the house before which the *' buss " stopped, stood a 
person enveloped dn a peculiarly constructed great coat, a small pocket 
on one side of which had been made for the reception of a watch, upon 
the fiMse of which he gased, on the average, about twenty times per 
minute. He held a paper in his hand, and a pen in his moutbi and 



246 LIFB AMD ADVBNTUREB OF 

appeared to have been established in that particular spot for the express 
purpose of proving to all whom it might concern, that time would fly 
away, despite his efforts to keep it. 

^* You're behmd Bill again Bob, and Joe too, this time," observed 
that individual, addressing the conductor. 

^^ Behind Bill and Joe !" cried the conductor, *' and no wonder, 
nayther. An old file has been a havin' a game with me a comin' along, 
makin me pull up at one place to tell me he wanted for to stop at 
another. I should ony just like to 've had a fair kick at him ; that's 
all the harm I wish him, I'll warrant he wouldn't be able to sit in 
my buss a one while with any degree of comfort;" and having de- 
livered himself thus, he proceeded into the house vnth the view of 
drowning his cares in a pint of porter. 

After remaining in this spot for about three minute8,*-dnring which 
time the passengers had been engaged in the expression of the most con- 
flicting opinions, having reference mimediately to the subject which had 
so much confused them — the individual vnth the watch cried, ^* All 
right !'' and the conductor resumed his professional position. 

^^ Downing-street, please," said Valentine, assuming the voice of a 
female. 

** Yes, marm" said the conductor, who appeared to have got over it 
a little ; but the passengers looked round and round with great curiosity. 
They had not perceived the lips of either of the ladies move; but that 
was attributed to the hct of its beine dusk. At all events, the sus- 
picion which attached to the individuid who sported the wiry whiskers, 
was not, in this particular instance, strengthened, and the omnibus went 
on until it arrived at the comer of that street, tiie offices in which are 
considered so extremely eligible. 

The door was opened. The conductor stood holding it in his hand. 
*^ Now, marm !" said'he, when he found that no one offered to alight. 
" Downing-street, marm, if you please !— Is this 'ere another came V 

^* Please bring a lamp to find a purse in the straw," said Valentine. 

'^ Well, this IS pleasant !" observed the conductor, ^^ we shall get the 
buss along by and by, p'raps, no doubt ! I wish people ud just keep their 
pusses in their pockets. I aint got no lamps," — which was a &ct ; 
although one of which Valentine had no previous knowledge. 

*•* 1 don't care !" said he, ^* I'll not get out without my money." 

^' Then you must go a little furder till we gets to the shops," cried the 
conductor ; who, after having' shouted '* All right !" began to mutter 
away desperately, and to give indications of something being, in hit 
view, decidedly ** all wrong." 

Having turned the comer of Bridge-street, he politely procured a 
lantern, and, on opening the door, cried, ** Now, tlien, where's this 
puss?" 

^' Here," said Valentine, throwing his voice to the extreme end of the 
vehicle, and the conductor thence proceeded, treading, of course acd- 
dentaUy, but not very lightly, upon the toes of the passengers during 
his progress, when having at length arrived at the spot, he knelt down 
and searched with great perseverance among the straw. 



VALENTINE VOX. 247 

^ I can't see it no where abont. It isn't heie, marm T said he, 
nusing his eyes to the lady at whose feet he had been so diligently 
prosecuting the search. *^ Are you sartin you dropped it V 

^* It does not bdons to me," replied the lady addressed. 

**Then it's yours?" enquired the conductor, of the lady who sat 
opposite. 

** Oh 1 dear me, no, it's not mine !" 

*^ Well there's no other lady in the buss !" cried the conductor, ^^ it 
must belong to one on yer, any how ! Who does it belong to, ony say ? 
Who told me to pull up at Downing Street ?" 

'^ Not I," said one of the ladies. *' Nor did I," said the other. 

** Well, then, what d'yer mean !" cried the conductor. " This here's 
a nice game, and no mistake /" And he looked very fierce, and gmm-* 
bled very naturally ; and as another oppo^tion buss passed as he retired, 
he gave it as his opinion, that in this, his extremity, it was enough to 
drive a man to make a hole in the water. 

^^ What's in the wind now. Bob !" shouted the driver. 

^^ What's in the wind !" echoed Bob. ^* I've a nice load this journey, 
and no mistake about it. They're only bavin' a lark." 

^' A lark I" ezdaimed the driver. '^ We can't stop for larks !" and 
with great impartiality he lashed both his horses, apparently that one 
miffht not Liugh at the other, and they flew over the bridge as if unable 
to forget it. 

«' Marsh Gate!" cried Valentine, \* Stop at the Marsh Gate !" 

The conductor descended from his emmenoe to the steps beneath, the 
door, and having introduced his head into the omnibus, in which he saw 
his *^ nice load ' in a convulsion of laughter, said, with a drollery of 
expression which was of itself irresistible, '^ Now, is this another game, 
or ain't it, ony say ? Does any body want to get out at the Mash 
Gate r 

^^ Did I not say the Marsh Gkte !" replied Yalentine, assuming a 
tone which seemed to be indicative of some slight degree of anger. 

^^ Oh ! very well, sir, very well 1 I ony i^ed ! There am't much 
harm in that, I wppose /" 

Thery reached the gate in question, and the omnibus stopped. **Mash 
Chite! cried the conductor, "Now then, sir, Mash Gate! — What 
another dodge !" he continued, on perceiving that no one attempted to 
move ; '' Oh ! Its all very fine, but I don't stop no more, you know, 
for nobody : that's all about it ! — All riffkt /" 

The conductor kept his word. He would not stop. Valentine tried 
him in vain. An individual was anxious to get out at the Obelisk ; but 
although this was perfectly legitimate, he could make no impression at 
all upon the conductor, who amused himself by quietly informing that 
individual that he would take him right on to the Elephant and Castle, 
without any extra charge ; and having reached his destination, he en- 
quired very deliberately if they were perfectly satisfied with their 
evening's entertainment, and, moreover, wished parti^arly to know if 
they were going to return that same night, because, as he explained, if 



248 LIFE junr abtsnturbs of 

tbejr were, he would roAer — ^if it Hiade no diffBrenoe at all to themr— that 
they pationised some other ^^ buss." 

This sally had the efieot of inducine him to believe, that he really 
had the best of it after all, and as Yuentine was by no means anxious 
to diminish the pleasure with which this belief very OTidently teemed, 
he passed through the merry group of passengers, who continued to 
laugh with extraordinary zeal, and proceeded along the New Kent 
Road, until he arrived at an inn, yokped the Brickhiyers' Arms. 

Not being well acquainted with the locality of the plaee, he entered 
a shop to make the neoessaiy enquiries ; and on being informed that he 
was to take tlie first turning to the left, and the second to the right, 
and then to keep straight on till he got to the top, he went down a 
street which led to the bottom of the Grange Road, and which appeared 
to be a spot to which the whole of the labouring poor of the metropolis 
had sent all their children to play. He had never before beheld such a 
dense mob of infants. They were running about in legions, shouting, 
laughing, crying, fighting, pelting each othw with mud, tumbling into 
the gutter, and scraping the filth off their habilimente with oyster shells 
and sticks. Some ^ the young gentlemen, larger than the vest, had, 
with biteof ragged packthread, hameesed others, whom they were driving 
in the imaginary similitude of teams of prancing horses : some were 
valiantly tucking up thdr rieeves, and givbg expression to their anxw^ 
that certain other young gentlemen, by whom they had been assaulteo, 
would only just hit them again ; some were squatting near the base of 
a highly popular piece of ardiitecture, while others whom they had 
diosen as the most eloquent members of the corporation they had 
fcMrmed, were importuning every passenger for a slight contribution, 
and beg^g of him earnestly to ^^ remember the giotto." By fi» 
the most striking and apparently pleasurable species of amusement, 
however, was the perpetual shaking of two bits of slate or broken 
crockeiy, which by being placed ingeniously between the fingen did, 
by dint of zealous exertion, produce a rattling which might in tiie dark 
ages have been taken for the soul-stirring music of the Spanish castanets; 
but, beyond all dispute, the great majority of the young ladies and 
gentlemen were bawling, and running, and rolling about, without any 
specific object, apparenuy, in view, save that of promoting the circulation 
of their blood. Valentine had never in the course of his me seen so many 
little children tosether. He could scarcely get along for th^ra I really 
it was like walkmg through a flock of sheep. 

He did, however, succeed eventually in wading through the swann ; 
and having reached a certain point, which appears to be tiieir boundary, 
he had notiiinff to do but to walk on and snift, for the air appeared to 
have a scent different from that of any air he had ever before mhaled — 
a remarkable fiust which he was indiiMd to attribute to the children, but 
which was in reality attributable to the tan. 

On arrivingat the top of the Grange Road, he enquired for the resi* 
deuce of Mr. lledger, and was directed to a dirty, old, dilapidated house, 
which stood fifty feet from the road, and which appeared to have been 






VAIBNTIKfi VOX. 249 

erected in a hole. The gate was split in divers directions, and the rails 
which once adorned it were crumbling deliberately away. Nearly the 
whole of the windows were broken — the apertures being filled up with 
old rags — while the tiles, the majority of which had au-eady fallen off, 
appeiued to threatoi to split the heads of all who had the boldness to 
Tcuture beneath them* 

As eyerything, therefore, indicated penury and want, it was but 
natural for Valentine to suppose that this could not be the residence 
of the wealthy Mr. Pledger, and hence, on perceiving a little shop almost 
immediately opposite, he crossed the road at once to enquire again. 

^^ Can you tell me," said he, addressing a person behind the counter, 

where Mr. Pledger lives ?" 
Pledger ! over the way, sir," replied that person. 

*^ I mean the Mr. Pledger," said Valentine, emphatically, ^^ the rich 
Mr. Pledger." 

^^Well, that's it; you can't make a mistake," replied the man. 
^^ There is only one Pledger in Bermondsey." 

'^ Oh, indeed ! — ah, thank you," said Valentine, who be^n to be ex- 
tremely apprehensive about the sum of twenty pounds, which he thought 
it most unreasonable to expect that he should ever get there ; and it 
must be conceded, that appearances were decidedly m fovour of the 
irrational character of such expectation. Across the road, however, he 
went, and having opened the gate of which the timber was particularly 
rotten, while the hinges were remarkably rusty, he walked over the 
space in front of the house very firmly, and knocked at the door very 
boldly. 

** Who's there ?" demanded the cracked voice of a female, after a 
pause. * 

'^ Is Mr. Pledger within ?" enquired Valentine. 

*^ Yes; what do you want?" cried the female. 

'^ I want," replied Valentine, '' to see Mr. Pledger." 

The mild tones in which this appropriate information was conveyed 
seemed to allay the suspicions of the female inside, for after drawing a 
few bolts, and removing a few bars, and turning a few keyB with very 
great apparent difficulty, she opened the door as far as the chain would 
allow it to be opened ; and having taken a survey through the aperture 
thus established, she made certain enquiries which had immediate 
reference to the business in hand. 

^' I wish to see Mr. Pledger," repeated Valentine, ^^ my business is 
with him." 

*^ Well, so I suppose," returned the female, somewhat piqued, and 
having again exammed him minutely, and being eventually satisfied 
that there was nothing very desperate in his appearance, she closed the 
door, for the purpose of unhooking the chain, and Valentine was ad- 
mitted into a most filthy passage, where he remained in the dark, untO 
the woman had taken in his name and that of his uncle. 

*' Well," thought he, ^^ this is rather a black beginning, but there 
tna^f be something a little more lively inside." 

K K 



2o0 LIFE AND ADTENTURfiS OF 

*' You may come in !" shouted the miserable looking woman, as she 
returned with her rushlight ; and Valentine was accordingly ushered, 
with the smallest possible ceremony, into a truly wretched den, which 
appeared to be the kitchen, parlour, bedchamber, scullery, and all. 

'^ Sit down," said Mr. Pledger, whose features bore some slight re- 
semblance to those of a respectable fiend, newly whitewashed. ^^ Well, 
what is your business V 

" I have received," replied Valentine, " a letter, in which my uncle 
states, that on applying to yon I shall reo^ve twenty pounds." 

" Ah," said Pledger, pursing his lips, *' I have no authority for paying 
you that sum. I can't do it without an order." 

^' Will not this be a sufficient authority ?" said Valentine, producing 
the letter, and pointing to the postscript. 

Fledffer coolly drew nis spectacles from his forehead, and cocked them 
upon his nose. 

^* Five pounds," said he, having read the important postscript. 

^^ Or not more than twenty," added Valentine. ** Twenty is the sum 
that I want." 

^^ Ah ; but this you know isn't an order. It should have been an 
order to me to pay the bearer, and so on." 

^^ But will not my acknowledgment do as well ?" 

" No. How do 1 know that you are the person to whom this letter 
is addressed ?" 

*^ Do you take me for a swindler ?" exclaimed Valentine, fiocely. 
*< Do you think that I should make application for this money, if I 
were not the person to whom this letter is addressed V 

** I cannot tell ;" was the laconic reply. 

*^ You cannot tell !" echoed Valentine, whose blood began to boiL 
** Do I look like a swindler V 

Pledger opened the drawer of the table at which he sat, and after 
Bearching for some considerable time, produced a coin, which he breathed 
upon, and rubbed very deliberately : he then drew forth another from 
his pocket, and bavin? placed them before Valentine, said, ^^ Did you 
ever see two coins look more like each other V* 

*^ That has nothing to do with me !" cried Valentine, very angrily; 
** I came to you on business." 

** I see that you are too hot to answer this question. I will answer 
it for you. They seem to have been struck from the self-same die— to 
be equally valuable. To all appearance they are precisely alike ; and 
yet one is a counterfeit ! Sir, I took that for an honest shilling : I was 
deceived. What follows ? Why, that if I take you for an honest man, 
I may be equally deceived. As nothing looks so much like a bad coili 
as a good one, so no man looks so mu<m like an honourable man as an 
accomplished villain. Were it not for the resemblance they bear to 
each other, villany could never, to any great extent, succeed." 

Valentine fdt that he was correct in this particular, and therefore be- 
came more subdued. 

*^ How then am I to know," continued Pledger, ** that you are an 



VALENTINE VOX. 251 

honest man—- that you are really the person you represent yourself to 

'* The poasession of this letter, I should think, would be sufficient-—" 

^^ Not at all I not at all ! You may have stolen that letter — ^mark 
me well !" he continued, on perceiving that Valentine was again getting 
up in his stirrups, '* I say you marf have stolen it ! How am I to tell 
that you have not V 

Valentine indignantly crushed the letter into his pocket, and rose. 

^ Don't be ra^ !— don't be rash, young man ! — don't be rash I I'm 
an older, a much older man than you. / have lived long enough to 
know that no one can thrive in this world, who does not look upon 
and deal with every man as a rogue, until he has proved him to be an 
honest man. I don't mean to say that I believe you are one ; but I do 
mean to say, I can't tell that you are not." 

" Then, of course, you refuse," said Valentine, with impatience, 
" to let me have this money ?" 

" I did not say that. I am disposed to believe, in this instance, thai 
all is straight-forward and correct. It is a risk, it is true ; but I am 
inclined, notwithstanding, to run that risk — at least I should have been 
inclined, but that it happens that I have no money by me just now." 

'' Had you told me that at first," said Valentine, ^' you might have 
saved yourself all this trouble ;" and he again rose, and looked very 
angrily at Mr. Fledcer. 

*'^ Do you particumrly want the money ?" enquired that gentleman. 

'^ Of course I do, or I should not have come here." 

^^ Well, if you want it particularly now, you can draw upon me if 
you like for three months." 

^' Draw upon you !" said Valentine, who was ignorant of the meaning 
in this case, of that popular term — ^' Draw upon you ?" 

'* Aye ; I've no objection to give you my bill for the amount." 

^^ And of what use would that be to me ?" 

*^ Of what use I Why certainly of no other use than this, — that you 
could get it cashed immediately." 

" Where?" enquired Valentine. " Who would do it?" 

" I don't know whether you are aware of it, young gentleman, but 
my bill is as good as a bank note, sir ! Any man in we habit of doing 
bills, will do mine." 

" But I know of no man who is in the habit of doing biUs." 

^' Well, in that case I tell you what 111 do : I have got, I think, as 
nearly as possible, twenty pounds in the house, which I must of neces- 
sity pay away to-morrow ; but as I am anxious to do the utmost in my 
power to oblifle your unde — and I suppose that by obliging you, I shall he 
also obliging him,— draw the bill for twenty pounds, d^uct the discount, 
and I wiU give you the money now. It strikes me very forcibly thai 
a friend of mine will be able to get it done for me in the morning." 

" Well," thought Valentine, ^^ this is certainly better," and according 
to dictation he drew Uie bill. '^ Now," said he,'^^ what am I to deduct 
for discount ?" 



252 LIFB AND ADTENTURGS OF 

^^ Oh, the usual business : fifteen per cent.," replied Pledger. 

Valentine knew nothing about the ^' usual business," but he deducted 
fifteen per cent, which reduced the amount to nineteen pounds five. 

^' But you haye only deducted fifteen per cent, per annum^ said 
Pledger. 

^' 1 know it. Is not that correct V 

^' No ; fifteen per cent, upon the amount ; that is to say, a shilling in 
the pound, per month." 

'^ Why that's sixty per cent !" returned Valentine ; ^^ I have then to 
receive, instead of twenty pounds, only seventeen T 

^ Exactly T replied Pledger, ^^ with a viUanous grin, ^^ deducting 
two-and-sixpence for the stamp, and a penny which they always charge 
for profit. 1 see you understand it." 
^ ^^ But I don't understand. I think it most exorbitant/' 

*^ And so it is," rejoined Pledger, *' so it is most exorbitant ; but 
these people alwajrs are most exorbitant, always. The question amounts 
simply to this : will it be worth your while to pay them for the ac- 
commodation ?" 

^' I had no idea that I should haye all this difficulty about the matter, 
and I am sure that my uncle had not. I fimcied the money was due." 

^' I know it's due," replied Pledger ; ^* I don't dispute that. But 
then, what's to be done ? You want the money, and I have not got 
it ; and a man without money can't pay ! The question therefore is, 
wUl it answer your purpose better to give a shilling in the pound, per 
month, for it now, or to wait until I can pay, wnich will be in the 
course of three months, I've no doubt." 

Valentine could not wait three months, that was clear : he therefore 
consented to take off the sixty per cent. ; when Pledger, delighted at 
having made so good a bargain, proceeded to a cupboard, and Drought 
forth an iron-bound box, which he placed yezy carefblly upon the 
table. 

Of course Valentine knew not that this man had been a notorious 
money lender himself^ — ^that he had ruined more persons by discounting 
biUs, than any other man alive, — that he had obtained the whole of his 
houses by insuting upon holding the titles as collateral security for dis- 
honoured acceptances, and by goading the acceptors by renewals, ex- 
tortion, and legal expenses, either to commit suicide, or to surrender 
all daim to those titles, — and that he had then become an abject, miser- 
able miser, and had given up the recognized game of extortion, in 
consequence solely of ms having become so distrustful, that he had not 
'sufficient courage left to risk even a shilling. Of all this, Valentine 
was utterly ignorant ; but there was something in the creature's coun- 
tenance when he brought out the box which inspired him at once with 
the conviction that he was, in reality, an usurious wretch ; and therefore 
richly deserved to be frightened at least 

well, he opened the box, and placed the back of it towards Valen- 
tme, who comd tell in an instant by the sound, as the sovereigns were 
cardfuOy extracted one by one, that the box was as nearly as possible 




-^jV^Ai^^ 






VALSKTllfB VOX. 258 

full, and that, therefore, in stating that he had but twenty pounds in 
the house, the wretch had told him an abominable falsehood, with the 
view of swindling him out of the sixty per cent. He therefore felt 
that, as a matter of justice, he ought to be punished ; and having im- 
bibed this feeling, which was not, under the circumstances, highly re- 
prehensible, he cried, throwing his voice into the passage, just as ten 
of the sovereigns bad been counted, ^' In this room ! — now the door !" 

Tlie effect upon the miser was electric. He instantly leaped up, as 
if he had received a pistol-shot in his heart ; and in doing so, upset the 
ricketty table. Down went the box, and away flew the sovereigns I^ 
five hundred, at least, were rolling in all directions upon the floor. 
This was somewhat more than was anticipated by Valentine, who 
smiled ; but the miser stood aghast ! — trembling with the utmost 
violence, and rolling his eyes from the door to the gold^ and from the 
gold to the door, while his sister, who was not quite so utterly lost, 
seized the broom as the miserable gir) whom they nominally kept, and 
who displayed far more courage than either of them, peeped through 
the keyhole of the door. 

In tnis position they remained for some considerable time, as if utterly 
unable to move hand or foot. Valentine, however, at length broke 
silence by enquiring if he should assist in gathering up the gold. 

" No, no, no !" cried the paralysed wretch, whom the question at 
once restored to a state of consciousness, and he placed his skinny hand 
upon the shoulder of Valentine, as if in order to compel him to remain 
in his seat. He then flew to the cupboard, and bringing forth a brace 
of pistols, thrust them hurriedly into the hands of Valentine, and im- 
plored him to shoot through the heart of the very first man that entered, 
when, sinking upon the ground, he commenced at once picking up the 
gold with unparsdleled zesJ and dexterity. 

His sister stiU kepi near the door, her fears prompting her to fancy 
that she heard strange breathings, divers delicate whispenngs, and an in- 
finite variety of footsteps outside; while Valentine quietly amused 
himself with watching the grasping exertions of the wretch upon the 
ground, who still trembled as energetically as if he had been seized with 
a violent fit of the ague. 

At length he completed his task. The whole of the sovereign^—- at 
least all he could find — were restored to the box, which he locked, and 
placed securely in a hole up the chimney, when, dropping into a chair 
by the side of Valentine, apparently hsdf dead, he enquired what was 
best to be done. 

^^ Be silent !" said Valentine, ^' let ns first see what they mean to do. 
I am perfectly prepared to receive them." 

" I thank you I I thank you ! I know that you are biave ! — ^very 
brave !" cried the miser, ^^ yonll be a match for them,-^I know you'll 
be a match for them. Hark /— <lidn't you hear T* 

^* No, no !" replied Valentine very firmly, and looking very valiant, 
'^ I thiiJc the noise alarmed them. It strikes me they are j^ne. If 
not, why let them come 1 — they will meet with a wann reception." 



25 4i LIFE AKD ADTEMTURES OF 

The unflinching finnness exhibited by Valentine gradually inepired 
the wretched trio with courage. The females withdrew from the door, 
the table was raised, the miser resumed his old position, and Valentine 
began in an ironical strain to congratulate him on the sudden acquisition 
of 80 much wealth. 

It is astonishing how much easier men find it to do evil than to bear 
to be told of the evil they have done ; and it is equally astonishing that 
men who can utter a series of straight-forward falsehoods, without a 
blush, find it difficult to endure the punful process of conviction. Even 
this wretched miser, dead as he was apparently to every feelinff which 
actuates the human heart, save that of avarice, shrank from uie gaae 
of Valentine — ^whom he could browbeat before — ^when he found that 
that gaze was intended to convey to his sordid soul the impression, that 
the ffusehood of which he had been guilty was now too apparent to 
deceive. 

^^ Well I" said Valentine, when the limbs of the wretch had in some 
degree resumed their accustomed tranquillity ; ^* since it seems that you 
have a little more money in the house than you expected, you will be 
able to give me the twenty pounds in full V* 

** No no," said the miser, *' at least, not now, not now — well talk 
about it : give a look up in the morning." 

" Why, that," said Valentine, " will be very inconvenient." 

" I cannot help it. I'm sorry for it, but cannot help it. I would 
not touch that box again now for the world." 

" Why you have nothing to fear," rejoined Valentine, who now felt 
determhied to have the money ; '* I will still keep strict guard." 

*^ I don't care," said the miser, ^^ It's safe where it is. It shall not 
come out of that place to-night, if I know it." 

'^ Indeed," thought Valentine, ''we'll very soon se^ about that." 
And he rose from his seat, saying, '' Well then, I suppose that I must 
call upon you in the morning." 

" If you please," said the miser ; '' Yes, do." 

'' Have you got it ?" enquired Valentine throwing his voice very dex- 
terously into the chimney. 

" I'm ruined I I'm ruined !" cried the miser. '' I'm ruined !" and he 
darted, like lightning, across the room ; and having found the box, 
of course, where he had placed it, he drew it fort^ and hugged it 
fondly to his heart, shouting, '' Thieves I Fire I Murder 1 Thieves ! 
Thieves!" 

His sister at this moment followed his example, ''Thieves! thieves!" 
she cried, opening the window which overlooked a field ; but as the 
room was at the back of the house, and they dared not go in firont, the 
wind carried their voices from the road, and they gradually died away, 
unheard. 

" Where are the pistols V shouted Valentine. They were Ijrin^ upon 
the table. He seized one in an instant, and having cooked it with an 
air of invincible valour, let fly up the chimney. 

Of course nothing but soot descended ; but it did the chimney good. 



TALENTINB VOX. 255 

for it was previously choked as nearly as possible up to the pot : it there- 
fore cured that completely, and this was all the good it could do ; but 
the bravery involved in the act so excited the admiration of the miser, 
that he tUmoit relinquished the box to embrace him. 

" Do you think that there could have been any one there ?" en- 
quired Valentine, very mysteriously. 

^* I heard a voice V cried the miser, ^' I'm sure I heard a voice ! 
Didn't you ?" he continued, addressing his sister. 

" Of course I did I" replied that respectable female, vrith infinite 
promptitude and spirit ; '* Do you think that I'm deaf? It's my belief 
there's a man in there now." 

*' If there be, he's a dead man," said Valentine, *^ if the pistol I dis- 
charged contained a ball." 

^^ Oh yes ! oh yes !" cried the miser, ^^ oh yes ! and a capital ball it 
was too. It*s a pity it was fired off for nothing." 

^* It if a pity, when you come to think of it, said Valentine. 

^^ That powder too : powder costs a deal of money ; it's very expen- 
sive, very." 

^^ Well," said Valentine, apparently in the act of departing — an act 
which he had really no intention to perform, without having the snm of 
twenty pounds in his pocket-—'^ I suppose that I can be of no more 
service now ?" 

** Stay, stay I" cried the miser. *^ Pray do not go yet. Stay a quarter 
of an hour longer ; but a quarter of an hour !" 

*^ I really cannot," returned Valentine, " if I'm to come up here again 
in the morning.'' 

•* Well — stay ! — ^1*11 give it you now — 111 give it you now. Only 
stop." 

Of eoune Valentine stopped ! He had not the least intention of going, 
until he had gained possession of that which he came for. He there- 
fore sat down again, withbut a second invitation, and displayed a very 
laudable anxiety to come to the point at once. *'^ You mean, of course," 
said he, ^ to pay me now in full." 

" Well, well ; but you must take me off discount." 

** What, sixty per cent !" exclaimed Valentine. 

'^ No no !" said the miser, " 111 be satisfied with ten. You must take 
me off ten ?" 

^^ As the money is due, I don't feel myself justified in consenting even 
to that. But, perhaps," he added, rising again, *' I had better look up 
in the morning." 

** No no," said the miser, still dreadfully alarmed ; " 111 not trouble 
you ; no. 111 not trouble you. But really you must take me off five ! 
It's a regular thing, you know, quite — quite a regular thing." 

•* Well, you'd better settle tliat with my Uncle, when you see him. 
He understands more about the business than I do." 

** -Well, well ; I suppose I must. — Hush !" he exclaimed, and having 
listened most attentively for several seconds, he opened the box 

All was silent. He would not suffer one of the sovereigns to click 



256 LIFE AND ADYBirTUREa OF 

against another. He drew them out one by one, very carefully, and 
very reluctantly ; and having counted them ever again and again, locked 
liis box and said, '^ There, there are twenty." 

Valentine had been in the habit of counting money only when he 
paid it away ; but in this particular instance he felt that, as a matter 
of common justice to himself he ought to adopt the same plan when 
he received it. He therefore did count it : he counted it twice as the 
sovereigns were lying on the table, and the result was a natural result, 
under the circumstances, seeing that there were but nineteen. 

^' There's one short," said he, eyeing the miserable doe, ^' only one." 

*^ Dear me, I thought I counted twenty, I'm sure !" cned the wretch, 
with a villanous smirk, and he counted them aeain, and again, for the 
show of the thing, and then added, ^^ Why there are but nineteen I 
How singular I" 

" Very 1" said Valentine, sarcastically, " Very /" and he looked at 
the wretch as he reluctantly drew forth the twentieth, with ati ex- 
pression which seemed to confuse him a little. He nevertheless counted 
them over again, being firmly determined not to suffer him to reap, even 
from sleightnof-hand viUany, the smallest advantage; and having satis- 
fied himself as to the correctness of the sum, he surveyed the wretched 
group with a feeling of disgust. 

There sat the miser, whose soul seemed to have sunk beneath the 
weight of his iniquities, trembling and groaning under the lively ap- 
prehension of losing that which, to him, was intrinsically valueless, 
seeing that, with the means of procuring all the luxuries, he denied 
himself even the common necessaries of life ; and while his sister, the 
very type of sordid wretchedness, sat, with her elbows upon her knees, 
and her chin upon her hands, in a chair, the ragged horse-hair of 
which, that once formed its plump bottom, hanging down to the floor, 
the poor girl, whom fate had doomed to live beneath the same roof, lay 
miserably huddled up in one comer of the room, starving, absolutely 
starving in the midst of wealth ! 

Valentine sickened at the sight, and therefore put on his hat. 

^' Must you go V said the miser. ^ 

" I must," replied Valentine. 

^^ Well, well !" said the miser, seizing the pistol that was loaded, 
^' do carry this for me till you get to the door. My hand trembles* 
I'm sure I can't take a true aim. ' 

Valentine carried the pistol accordingly, and after an infinite deal of 
listening, they reached the outer door, which was no sooner opened 
than he fired the pistol off, which so alarmed the trembling wretch^ 
that he closed the door instantly, shutting his unsuspected tormentor 
outside. 

^' What shall I do with the pistol?" thought Valentine. 

He had not to think long. He dashed it at once through the window, 
and departed ; while the feelings with which the inmates were ini^ired 
by the rattling of the glass, were questionless very lively, but not very gay. 



VALENTINE VOX. 257 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE FIRST CONCERT OIYEN BT THE NATIVE TALENT ASSOCIATION. ^ 

Valentine had from childhood been extremely fond of music. He 
was unable to play upon any instrument; he knew nothing of the 
technicalities of the science, nor had he the slightest wish to know. 
Tlie enchanting effects were sufficient for him ; ho cared not to study 
the minutisB of the cause. Having had, however, an ardent desire at 
one period to become acquainted with musical men, that desire had 
been gratified to no inconsiderable extent, and he for some time enjoyed 
their society, being delighted with their apparent simplicity of soul ; 
but the charm which their companionship primarily imparted was 
quickly broken, when their prevailing characteristics were laid open to 
his view. He found them reckless, gay, improvident, polite, but 
not one was ho able to point to as being a really virtuous man. He 
was aware of course that virtue in classes was difficult to be found, but 
although in every other class he had perceived it shining brightiy in 
the actions of individuals, he had never had the pleasure to meet a 
professionally musical man, whose private character would bear even a 
superficial investigation. As men they were indolent and dishonour- 
able ; as husbands they were faithless; as fathers they were heartless; 
as friends they were envious and insincere. 

Valentine had in all probability been unfortunate in his introductions 
to these musical people, seeing that doubtless he might have been in- 
troduced to some who were really good men ; but naving been in a 
position to analyse the characters of many from the highest to the 
lowest in the profession, it was but natural for him to infer from the 
result of his experience, that however kind, generous, and amiable they 
might appear, they were all at heart equally hollow. 

This consideration, however, by no means subdued the ardour of his 
passion for music, and he was anxious to do all in his power to promote 
its cause, by the cultivation of a musical taste among the people, it 
being, to him at least, manifest, that nothing could have a more power- 
ful tendency to soften their tone, to counteract their bad passions, or to 
induce that refinement in popular pleasures which is so absolutely essen- 
tial to a high state of civilization. It is true, that when this v^as placed 
in juxtaposition with the view which he entertained of the private 
characters of professionallv musical men, they at first appeared inimical ; 
but when he looked at the mode of life so peculiar to those creatures, 
when he saw the temptations to vice and ^honour with which they 
were perp^ually assailed, and perceived that if their minds were not 
indeed too weak to make any resistance to those temptations, they ex- 
hibited no inclination to resist them ; when he found that every thing 
bearing even the semblance of domestic happiness was their abhorrence, 
and that all they had to talk about, or cared to talk about, or even 
seemed to have the ability to talk about, was music mixed up vidth in- 
trigue, he very soon became convinced that their characters were not 

LL 



258 LIFE AND ADTSNTITRES OF 

formed by music, but in spite of its softening influence, by their per- 
nicious communication with those by whom vice and dishonour in 
every shape are applauded. 

Now it happened, that at this particular period of our history, a 
great outcry was raised about what was then yclept native talent. 
The court was denounced ; the aristocracy was denounced ; the whole 
country was denounced because native talent failed to be patronised 
with commensurate liberality. Cargoes of foreign artistes were im- 
ported from time to time, and exported with wreaths of laurel and 
purses crammed with British gold, to the great discouragement of na- 
tive talent. At the Royal Concerts none but foreigners were engaged ; 
at the soirees of tlie nobility none but foreigners were engaged, while 
every theatre in which foreigners were not engaged was empty; in feet, 
native talent appeared to be in such a dreadfid state, that they who 
possessed the real and recognized ability to snatch it from contempt^ 
crossed the Atlantic — ^it being well understood that the Americans up- 
held native talent, which wbs certainly much to their credit — ^while our 
citizens gloried in being jammed in the pit, or stewed to rags in the 
gallery of the Opera, to near that which they could by no means under- 
stand, with the view of having it in their power to speak with enthu- 
rnnam of the briUiancy of the prima donna, wad the 8ttrpa»ng riohne» 
of the prime buffo, and to explain how they adored—- You know wochee 
poke afar; and how deeply they were enamoured of Dye pUch her my 
balsam core. 

Such being the lamentable state of the case then, certain highly influ- 
ential and remarkably staunch musical individuals, entertaining an ex- 
tremely laudable anxiety to rescue native talent from the impending doom 
of extinction, conceived the idea of establishing a Native Talent Associa- 
tion, with the view of getting up a series of native talent concerts, at 
which nothing of course but native talent should be developed ; and 
having perfected their project, they proceeded to carry it at once into 
execution, in order to prove that, although foreign talent might then be 
the rage, native talent was of an infinitely superior caste, and, therefore, 
ousht to be more liberally patronised by a truly enlightened British 
public. 

Accordingly, the first of the series was announced, and Valentine 
having purchased a ticket, attended. The room was crowded. He at 
first saw no prospect at all of obtaining a seat; but having secured one 
at length near the orchestra, he commenced a perusal of the programme 
which had been given to him at the door. It began with a proepectua, 
and that prospectus read well ; very well ; — ^it promised much, it is 
true; but it promised no more than might vnth ease have been per- 
formed. He was therefore delighted with the prospectus; but how sreat 
was his astonishment, when, on looking below he found that nouung 
but German and Italian pieces were to be sung! " Is this," thought 
he, ^^ intended to develope native talent I Why, at best, it can be but 
the native talent of imitation ! Here we have a selection of Italian 
and German music to be sung by English singers, after the fashion of 
the Italians and the Germans, and that with the view of inspiring an 



VALENTINE VOX. 259 

appreciation of native talent T He of course, and very naturally, felt 
that this ought not 'to be ; and as he wished most sincerely to promote 
the cause which its more active advocates, doubtless with the best pos- 
sible intentions, had laboured with so much zeal to injure, he felt him- 
self bound, as one who possessed the power to warn them with effect 
against the course they were pursuing, to impress upon their minds 
that the act of imitating the singing of foreigners, however excellent 
that imitation might be, developed native talent no more than the act 
of imitating the language of foreigners, and that instead of inducing 
a higher appreciation of native talent, its tendency was to depreciate it, 
seeing that it raised foreign talent in public estimation. 

This to Valentine appeared to be indisputable; and while he was 
endeavouring to decide upon the course, which under the circumstances, 
he ought to pursue, the band commenced the overture to ZauberfloUy 
and certainly went through it very well. The audience applauded ve- 
hemently, and demand^ an encore, which was of course extremely 
grateful to the feelings of the performers in the aggregate ; and while 
they were taking snuff with due gusto and effsct, the conductor veiy 
quietly winked at the leader, who as quietly winked at the conductor in 
return. 

Having enquired of a polite old gentleman who sat in his immediate 
vicinity, V alentine ascertained that the projector of the scheme was the 
identical individual who on this occasion wielded the baton, and as he 
felt that he was, therefore, the man whom he ought to address, he fixed 
his eyes very intently upon him. 

Now the visage of this individual was extremely long, and strongly 
marked, and pale in proportion. His hair was black ; and while it was 
parted in front with the utmost nicety, it hung in wild ringlets upon 
his shoulders. He had on an undeniable black satin stock, figured 
delicately with very little lillies, and studded with three remarkably 
suspicious-looking Brobdignagian brilliants. An eye-glass attached to 
a piece of black ribbon was stuck with consummate ingenuity between 
his left cheek bone and brow ; and a gold coloured cham of surpassing 
circumference was really very tastefully arranged over a white satin 
yest. His coat was of course a full dress coat, an indigo blue coat^ 
with black velvet collar, silk facings, and figured silk buttons, and while 
his left hand was adorned with a delicate French white kid glove, the 
taper fingers of his right were embellished with a variety of rings^ 
which he positively felt himself bound to display as much as possible. 

Valentine could not avoid smiling as he inspected this elegant, fan- 
tastic, and really fascinating creature; but as the overture was now 
again brought to a conclusion amidst thunders of applause, he was on 
the qui vive. A rattling Italian buffo song stood first upon the list, 
and as he perceived a professional genius stepping forward to do execu- 
tion on the same, he very naturally conceived that it was then the time 
for action. 

Well ! the symphony commenced ; and as the professional gentleman 
whose uvula appeared to be down, was a-hcming witli unprecedented 
violence, Valentine throwing his voice behind the exquisite conductor, 



260 LIFE AKD ADTSNTURBS OF 

who was then at the piano-forte, ran up and down the scale in anch a 
singularly unprofessional fashion, that all eyes were directed towards 
the spot in an instant. 

^^ Hist ! hist ! *' hissed the conductor, looking very sharply round, 
*^ Hish ! hUh r But Valentine kept on-— changing the key for the ex- 
press accommodation of each particular roulade— with a perseverance, 
which under any other circumstances certainly would have been highly 
reprehensible. 

The conductor became indignant, and cried '' hish ! hiih ! " with 
greater vehemence than before. It seemed perfectly clear to him, that 
there was some one very near him in a truly provoking state of in- 
ebriety. But who was it? He could not tell. He took the glass 
from his eye, for as he could see better vnthout it, he thought it highly 
probable that that might have theretofore prevented the discovery upon 
which he had set his soul. But no, he saw the instrumental people 
looking with amazement at each other, and the bosoms of the vocalists 
swelling with scorn ; but he could see nothing more : nothing more. 
He tried back : he recommenced the brilliant symphony, and the stout 
Tocal genius, who felt much confused, for he could not at all understand 
it, again plucked up his courage and his collar to begin, when Valentine 
introduced a very admirable imitation of the French-horn. In an 
instant every eye was upon the French-horn players, who were zea- 
lously engaged in amputating their instruments, with the laudable view 
of pouring out the concentered perspiration, which the performance 
of the overture had induced. It could not have been them. That was 
clear. The conductor looked at them ! — No : their instruments were 
in bits. This was held to be most extraordinary ; but Valentine did 
not stop to wonder much at it, but proceeded to give excellent imita- 
tions of a variety of little instruments until the conductor became so 
enraged, that he started from his seat, and looked round with an ex- 
pression^of indignation, the most powerful his strongly marked features 
could portray. 

The harmony produced by Valentine ceased, and all was sUent. The 
audience were amazed, they were utterly unable to make it out ; but as 
anon they began to hiss vnth unequivocal zeal, the conductor, who 
looked as if he couldn't really stand it much longer, bounced down upon 
his stool, and struck the chord with an energy altogether unparalleled 
in musical annals. 

The vocal genius became nervous. The truth flashed across his 
mind, that in this world men have not the choice of their own posi- 
tions. He would clearly not have chosen that in which he then 
stood, for it certainly was a most unpleasant position. He slightly 
trembled : Valentine saw that he trembled, and pitied him — nay he was 
eventually so far melted as to suffer him to go through his Largo 
Factotum, 

The style, however, in which he accomplished this song was parti- 
cularly droU. It was abundantly manifest that the gemus did not 
know the meaning of a word he had to utter, and equally manifest was 
it that he didn't want to know : all he cared a single straw about, was 



"■» '~ 




. ^ &!!ujWi_^ 



- ^/, . /u/.,/,-ir.;,,, . /„,,,a/,-,, 



y.,^; f.p^^v.^. 



ft ' • 

I 



YALSNTINB TOX. ^261 

an imitation of the Yoiee and gestures of the particniar primo buffo, 
'whom at the opera he had heard sing the piece with great applause, 
and as the gestures which he laboured to imitate were remarkably 
extravagant, the whole exhibition was a caricature of the most gross 
and ridiculous caste. 

This Valentine held to be monstrous, and felt it to be incumbent 
upon him to express his extreme dissatisfaction, when the features of 
the genius — who during the applause had smiled blandly as he bowed 
— underwent a most extraordinary change as he retired. 

^' Native talent !*' cried Valentine, throwing his voice into the middle 
of the room, *' Is this the development of native talent ?" 

The conductor stared wildly, and so did the whole of the gentlemen 
in the orchestra ; but although two or three individuals cried ^^ silence l" 
in a very authoritative tone, the majority of the audience were so 
powerfully struck with the novelty of the question, that they glanced 
at the programme-, and looked at each other very mysteriousfy, and 
really began to consider it an extremely proper question, and one vrhich 
ought therefore to be answered. 

'^English music! English music!'* again shouted Valentine, and 
the audience now responded to the shout with loud cheers, which caused 
the conductor to shrug his shoulders and pass his taper fingers through 
his curls, and to open his eyes very "widely, and to look altogether re- 
markably odd. He, however, said nothing ; but began to play the 
symphony of an Italian tcenay as Valentine repeated his demand for 
English music, the propriety of which was acknowledged by the 
audience again. 

Several gentlemen who were stationed near the orchestra, and who 
appeared to be members of the native talent committee, now conferred 
with the conductor, who after the conference came forward and said 
with due emphasis, ^^ Ladies and gentlemen : if there be any person in 
the room at all dissatisfied with die performances, his money will be 
returned on application being made at the doors." 

This was fair, very fair : nothing in fact could have been fairer, but 
this was not at all what Valentine desired : he wished to make them 
imderstand that mere imitations of the Italians could not tend to the 
development of native talent, and therefore cried ^^ No : the money is 
not what we want : we simply want English music!" and as this was 
agun hailed with loud cheers, the conductor again conferred with the 
gentlemen of the committee, and during the conference, Valentine was 
occupied in assuming various voices, and sending them in various parts 
of the room expressive of an anxiety to open the eyes of those gentle- 
men, that they might clearly see the course which they ought to pur- 
sue; and eventually their eyes became opened: they appeared to be 
enlightened on the subject as if by magic ! — ^but what was to be done? 
— the singing people had studied those pieces for the occasion, and 
although they had questionless the ability to sing others, it was held to 
be uni^e for the experiment, without notice, to do tried. They there- 
fore pretended to be still completely blind to the propriety of the^ sug- 
gestion, a course which Valentine held to be remarkably stupid, inas- 



262 LIFE A2n> ADVSNTimBS OF 

much as tbey had bnt to announce that the eiror would in ftituie be 
rectified, and the concert might have gone on without any further 
interruption ; but as it was, as the committee were still stubborn, and 
as the conductor, who didn't like it, as the selection had been left to 
him — ^began to look extremely big, and to shake his head angrily, and 
to purse his lips contemptuously, and to frown and pitch flie music 
about the orchestra, uid knock down the stands in the fulness of his 
rank official pride, of course Valentine felt determined to bring him to 
his senses, and therefore again loudly demanded a display of native 
talent. 

" Ladies and gentlemen I" said the conductor, stepping again in 
front of the orchestra, after indulging in an additional series of really 
unbecoming airs,—'* If any rival society has employed noisy persons to 
inteiTupt the performances of the evening—" 

^^ No, no !" shouted Valentine, '^ no, no ! We are simply anxious 
to promote the cultivation of native talent !" And as loud cheers fol- 
lowed this appropriate explanation, the conductor felt it to be a duty 
incumbent upon him to be signally savage, and he retired to the piano 
forte, and struck a variety of chords with unprofessional violence ; and 
after amusiug himself in this way for several seconds, he commanded A 
female to come forward in order to sing the next ic&na. Tlie lady did 
not much approve of the tone which the conductor had assumed in this 
particular instance ; but she nevertheless glided very gracefully forward 
with a dirty piece of music in one hand, and m. the other a lace-edged 
faan^erchief pinched precisely in the middle ; but she had no sooner 
reached the f^ont rail of the orchestra, than Valentine introduced * 
highly correct imitation of the trombone. 

This the oonduotor very naturally conceived to be dreadful, and he 
therefore began to pere^ire with rage. He thought it quite enough^ — 
and so it was quite enough-^that the audience were against him; but the 
idea of his own instrumental performers having joiuM in the opposition 
made his blood bubble up ! He therefore instantly turned towards the 
professional individuals who performed on the delicate instrument in 
question, and discovered them in the very act of enjoying a quiet pindi of 
snuff together in the utmost amity. The trombone nevertheless did ap- 
parently continue to sound. This he thought more extraordinary still 1 
He couldn't tdl, he didn't know, what to make of it at all. It was 
clearly not the men whom he had suspected, and yet— -well : the trom- 
bone ceased, but at that particular moment another most unpleasant 
sound broke upon his ear ! The majority of the audience were roaring 
with laughter ! — and that too at him 1 This he held to be extremely 
inconsistent with the character of a British audience, and he conse- 
quently felt quite confused. 

^^Goon! Go on!'* exclaimed several voices in the distance; but 
albeit these highly appropriate exclamations were benevolently intended 
for his especial solace, they in reality did not console him at all. 

The professional lady whose plume waved proudly about a foot and 
a half tlbovQ her forehead, now became extxemdy fidgetty, and felt very 



VALENTINE VOX. 263 

awkward and very warm, and was about to retreat, when the con- 
ductor struck a chord with unexampled desperation. 

^' Retire !*' said Valentine, throwing a whisper just behind the fair 
aftiste; and the lady, to whom the whisper appeared to be most 
welcome, bowed and blushed, and retired accordingly. 

'^ Madam !" cried the conductor, as she passed him, ^' remain." 

" You requested me to retire,** said the lady. 

^^ No such thing ! No such thing, madam. No such thing !" But 
the lady, who felt much confused, without appearing to notice these 
hasty observations, passed on. 

The conductor now imagined — and perhaps it was but rational for 
him to imagine — ^that it was a regularly planned thing — ^that all in the 
room had conspired against his peace. He therefore bounced up again 
with the view of conferring with the committee, who saw plainly 
that a very wrong course had been pursued; but then he didn't 
see it, and couldn't see it, and wouldn't see it I The committee, how- 
ever, at length insisted upon his expressing their sentiments on the 
subject, when he accordingly, but with infinite reluctance, came for- 
ward and said : — ^^ Ladies and gentlemen : it appears to be the opinion 
of the committee of management, that the fact of English artistes sing- 
ing nothing but foreign music, tends rather to create a morbid taste for 
such music, and to enhance it in the estimation of the public, than to 
promote the cultivation of native talent, which is of course their chief 
aim. I am, therefore, ladies and gentlemen, directed to state that as 
this appears to be also your impression, ladies and gentlemen, if you 
will be kind enough to permit the performances chosen for this evening 
to proceed, as we are not exactly prepared on so short a notice to 
change them, especial care, ladies and gentlemen, will be taken, that in 
future, at these concerts, English music alone shall be suns." 

The audience cheered this announcement. It was all they required, 
and as Valentine wished for nothing more, the performances proceeded 
without the slightest additional interruption ; although every piece 
tended^to convince him and them more and more that the view he had 
taken of the subject was correct, inasmuch as if it even were admitted 
that those pieces were well sung, it must also be admitted that the 
Italians sang them better, which alone had the effect of inspiring the 
conviction of their superiority, instead of a due appreciation of that 
style in which the English excel. 

Valentine was therefore quite satisfied. He felt that he had inflicted 
some pain by the confusion he^ had created ; but he also felt that 
he had thus succeeded in accomplishing an excellent object, namely, 
that of promoting the cultivation of native talent, by inducing English- 
men, instead of imitating, and thereby enhancing the value of foreign 
singers, to leave foreign talent to itself. 



264 LIFE AND ADYENTURES OF 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

IN WHICH WALTER AND BIS AMIABLE FAMILY HAYE A HIGHLY 
CHARACT] 
RELEASE. 



CHARACTERISTIC C0NYER8ATI0N ON THE SUBJECT OF OOODMAN's 



Although Walter had been gradually recoYering from the efiects of 
the fire, he* was still extremely weak, and continued to be occupied 
night and day by Nature, whose efforts to restore him to his pristine 
complexion were accompanied by a certain cutaneous excitement which 
he held to be particularly disagreeable. His appearance at this time 
was indeed Yery singular : the skin on one side of his face being black, 
while on the other it was as sanguine and shiny as that of a fair-haired 
boy. This rendered it natural, perhaps, for him to amuse himself by 
prematurely peeling off the deaA skin by inches, in order to re-establish 
a facial uniformity. This was not, howoYer, the most interesting part 
of his active occupation : by no means. While under the regimen 
originally prescribed by the physician, his mind was comparatively at 
ease ; but no sooner was he permitted to take somewhat more generous 
food, and a glass or two of wine every day, with a view to the resto- 
ration of his ph3rsical strength, than his vivid imagination began to 
revel again in the creation of the most extraordinary phantasms which 
failed not to afford him perpetual entertainment. Nor were the minds of 
his amiable fetmily at this time unoccupied : their nights were spent in 
dreaming, and their days in relating those dreams to each other, for the 
purpose of ascertaining and establishing the most approved interpret- 
ation thereof. The house of Walter was therefore a very busy house ; 
but the business of its inmates was unhappily not of a character cal- 
culated to increase their joy. On the contrary, their spirits were 
dreadfully depressed : even those of the volatile Horace — albeit he still 
retained his vulgarity — ^sank several degrees below par ; for while con- 
finement did not meet his views, three somewhat severe attacks of fever, 
induced by his going out too early, and drinking too freely, had con- 
vinced him that such confinement, how unpleasing soever it might be, 
was absolutely essential to his perfect restoration. 

Of course every member of the fiunily was now acquainted with 
the manner in which Walter had disposed of poor Ooodman, and the 
female portion failed not to ascribe the whole of their recent misfortunes 
to that. 

*' I am sure/' said Mrs. Horace, one evening when the fiimily, for 
the first time since the accident, were having tea in the parlour, *' I 
am perfectly sure that we shall never have a moment's peace of mind 
until uncle is released firom confinement." 

^^ I am quite of your opinion, dear," observed Mrs. Goodman, '^ for 
we really have had nothing but misfortune and misery since ; and I am 
fully p^snaded by the tnuy firightfnl dreams I have had of late, that 
we can expect no comfort, no happiness, no peace, so long as he remains 
whexe he is." 



Tl - — 



TALBKTINE VOX. 2^5 

** Then I deserve all I've ^i, I suppose ! — You regard it as a species 
of retributive justice/' cried Walter with a scowl. 

** No, no, my love ! I did not say that.'* 

*^ Didn't say it ! I know you didn't say it ; but you mean it never- 
theless." 

^^ All I mean to say is this/' rejoined his wife with unusual firmness, 
^^ that the horrible dreams I have had of late convince me that until he 
is released, we shall have nothing but misfortune; and it reaUy is 
very dreadful that he should be thus imprisoned, you know, when you 
come to think of it." 

*^ Tlio only question at issue," said Horace, '^ is this, — ^will the old 
boy's release tend to improve our position ? That's the only point now 
to be considered. Never mind about dreams, because they are all 
rubbisli, and may be produced by pickled salmon or stewed cheese ; 
let us look at the thing as it stands, thus :-— what wUl be the effect of 
his release upon us ?" / 

'^ Why this 1" replied Walter, " we shall be at once reduced to a 
state of absolute beggary." 

'^ Well, in that case, you know," rejoined Horace, " there can't be 
two rational opinions about the conclusion at which we ought, as 
reasonable beings, to arrive." 

" Well, I'm sure," said Mrs. Horace, " that for my part 1 had 
rather be poor and happy, than live in such continual misery as 
this." 

" Poor and happy !" cried Horace, " It's all very fine. I might 
say the same thing : / might say, oh, I'd much rather live* poor and 
happy : O yes ! — but who s to do it ? Had we been reared with the 
heavy hand of poverty upon us, we should probably not be much 
Btartied by her slaps, because a thing, you know, is nothing when you 
are used to it ; but fancy yourself now in a state of destitution ! I know 
that I should be walking into the jugular, or perpetrating some other 
sanguinary business ; while you woidd be flying off the Monument, or 
pitching head first over Westminster bridge ; and then how would you 
bringit in ?— not, * poor and happy !' " 

^^ But I'd work the very flesh off my bones, rather than continue to 
live as we do now." 

^* Work the flesh off your bones !" echoed Horace contemptuously. 
** How could you get it to do ; and if you did get it, how could you 
do it? and what do you fancy you are fit for? I might say that I'd 
work the very flesh off my bones ; but who'd emplov me ! That's the 
point; and then what could I do? While thousands upon thousands, 
who are capable of performing the various jolly littie offices of life are 
unemployed, how can I, who Know nothing at idl about anything, hope 
to walk over their heads ? I know better, you know ; it's all stuff." 

^*It certainly would, I must confess," said Mrs. Goodman, "be a 
very dreadful thing to be reduced ; but do you really think we should 
be so utterly destitute V 

^' Nobody can doubt it for a moment," replied Horace; ^^ for what 
resource hav^ we? What have we got to fly to ? The governor has 

M M 



2C6 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

given up his berth, which I have said all along he onght not to have 
done ; and then what are my prospects ? I have no profession !-— we 
have nothing to look to." , 

^^But don^t jrott really think," said Mrs. Goodman, addressing her 
husband, " that we might manage it so as to set him fipee, and yet be 
as well off at least as we were ?" 

"How absurdly you talk !" replied Walter. ** Why any one would 
think you were an idiot ! What on earth have I to hope for from him? 
Suppose, for a moment, that I were to release him; what would be the 
consequence? He knows that I placed him where he is; the house in 
which he lived of course is clean gone, and I have sold all hb furniture. 
Well ! ho comes out. I am the first man to whom he applies. He 
cannot proceed criminally against me, because the certificate of the doc- 
tors had the effect of taking from me the whole of the responsibility of 
the seizure; but ho demands the restitution of his property, and how is 
it possible for me to meet that demand ? A great portion of that pro- 
perty is not now in my possession; ho has, therefore, but to bring an 
action against me, and my ruin is complete. But let us take the most 
favourable view of the case. Suppose he insists only on the restoration 
of his papers. They are restored ; and he, as a matter of course, in- 
stant]^ discards us. What then are we to do ? I have no property^ 
no income. We must starve. Any assistance from him were alto- 
gether out of the question. He would have, of course, nothing what- 
ever to do with us. How should , we act in that case ? We could 
not act at all ; we should go to the dogs." 

" Of course I" cried Horace. " And that's the very bottom of it. We 
can't be such fools as to believe that he wouldn't at once cut us dead. 
He might not, as the governor fciys, proceed you know legally but— 
blister this itching !" — he added rubbing his back against the chair very 
violently, and making up a very extraordinary fiice. " I shall mb idl 
the flesh off my bones: I know I shall; and now the old governor's 
at it ! — Well, what was I saying ? — Come, come I I must rub if yon 
do. If it were not for you, I shouldn't do it at alL You put me in 
mind of it. Come, I say, governor ! Give it up, come ! I cannot 
think of anything while you keep rubbing away thus." And really 
the process of iteming is a very extraordinary process. It amounts to 
a contagion. Mankind itch by virtue of sympathy ; and it is highly 
probable that most living philosophers have observed that the power of 
sympathy is extremely comprehensive ; but whether the profound ob- 
servations of those philosophers have extended to this interesting parti- 
cular or not, it is nevertheless true, that of this most extraor^naiy 
power men are absolute slaves. 

^*But do you not think now," observed Mrs. Goodman, **that if 
you were to acknowledge that you have acted very wrong, and were to 
throw yourself as it were at once upon his generosity, that — ** 

^' Pooh !" exclaimed Horace. ^^ Grenerosity ! Fancy the govermnr 
throwing himself upon any thing like the old boy's generosity 1 How 
would he have to go to work ? Ill just tell you, and then you'll 
know how it would sound :— ' My brother'— he would have to say 



I 



YALKNTINB VOX. 267 

pollioff the longeat possible phis, ' my dear brother, I cocked you into 
a madhouse, in order of course to swindle you out of your property. 
You are not mad, my brother ; you noTsr were mad — I know that re- 
markably well; but notwithstanding into the lunatic den yon were 
thrust, as indeed you are in all probability aware. Now, I really am 
sorry, particularly sorry; I have sold the old house, sold the whole of 
the furniture, pocketed the pecuniary chips they produced, and as 
a matter of course, spent tlioee ohips liberally. My conscience, how- 
ever, told me that I had done extremely wrong, and that I ought to 
release you. I acted upon the suggestions of that unhappy wretch of a 
conscience, and released you accordingly ; and now, my|dear brother, 
having acknowledged my error, I throw myself upon your generosity.' 
Now I know the old boy pretty well : I know him to be occasionaliy 
rather of the warmest ; but leaving what he would be likely to do for 
a moment out of the question. 111 just explain to you how / should 
act in a case of the kind mjrself :-^In the first place, then, I should 
secure all the papers, and having secured them, I should say, ^Now I 
tell you what it is :* you're my brother — ^more's the pity — ^but as you 
are my brother why I don't want to ruin your prospects in life ; but 
if you don't leave the room before I can lift up my foot, I'll do my 
best to kick you into the autumn of next year ; and if ever I catch you 
near my house again, I shall consider it my duty on purely public 
grounds, to hunt you at once from society.' * But I throw myself upon 
your generosity !' you would exclaim, * I am sorry for what I have done, 
dear brother : I cannot say more I ' ' Be o£F I ' I should cry with cer- 
tain highly appropriate epithets, * and never, by any chance, let me see 
you ag^n ! ' That I should hold, vnthout any disguise, to be about 
the most generous act of my life." 

*' You are right ; you are right," said Walter, " quite right. No, 
no, no ; it won't do. I am sorry, and that's a foct, sincerely sorry 
I went so far; but I cannot now retreat: he must remain where 
he is." 

^'As a natural matter of course!" cried Horace. ''It would 
never do now. Let him be. The old boy, I've no doubt, is as happy 
as a Hottentot, and what can he want more ? The idea of his being 
locked up there as an old lunatic is rather of the ratherest, certainly ; 
but he'U soon get over that. And then they shouldn't have such laws. 
Blister the laws ! they make it positively dangerous lor a man to bo 
safe. Therefore, henceforth, lay all the blame upon the laws, and let 
him remain. I don't suppose — I can't suppose ho wants for any 
comfort : I dare say they treat him as a friend of the family : at all 
events we must not bring upon ourselves an uncomfortable load of 
starvation, that's clear." 

'' Well, I cannot but feel," said Mrs. Goodman, '' that we shall 
never be happy again —that wo shall never have anytliing but misery 
and ill luck." 

** And wliat sort of luck would that be which reduced us to a state 
of destitution ?" rejoined Horace. *'*• It strikes me that such luck 
would be extremely rotten : it would not, at all events, be particularly 



268 LIFB AMD ADTENTVRBB OF 

brilKant ; and as for yonr miseries ! compare them with the miseries 
with which abject poverty teems, and then say no more about it. We 
of course have no practi^ knowledge of those miseries ; but it occurs 
to me that they must be unpleasant m the extreme. It is true that if 
we were thus reduced, the old governor, by trotting out daily with a 
broom, might manage to pick up a few odd coppers ; and it is also true 
that, by driving a cab, I might possibly obtain enough to buy bread 
and cheese ; but when I take mto calm consideration all the rotten 
ramifications of the buriness, I really don't think that it would answer 
our purpose so well." 

" No, no, no I" cried Walter, ^' it will not bear a thought. Come 
what may, he must remain where he is." 

And to this opinion, all of them eventually subscribed ; for, although 
their dreadful dreams were recounted, and interpreted according to we 
best book of fete, when the miseries which they had to endure then, 
were fiurly weighed with those which Goodman's release would entail, 
it was found that the former at once kicked the beam, and were there- 
fore, of course, to be preferred. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 



UMCLB JOHN ARRIVES IS TOWN, AND WITH YALENTINB ATTENDS TH£ 

CIVIC PAGBANT AND FEAST. 

On the evening appointed for Uncle John's arrival, Valentine went 
to the inn, and the very first man whom he recognized there was the 
waiter who had exhibited so laudable an anxiety to expel tlie invisible 
burglars. Of this person he enquired how they eventually acted on 
that remarkable occasion; and from him he ascertained tiiat it was 
generally deemed the most extraordinary thing in nature, inasmuch as, 
notwithstanding one policeman paraded the leads, while another v^as 
stationed at the coffee-room door throughout the night, those burglarious 
individuals could not be captured. ^^ In the morning,'' continued the 
waiter, ^* we all thought they were still in the chimbley, you know, and 
to tell you the truth, you know, I had a hidea that, having been smothered 
in smoke, wo shoidd have found 'em a couple of corpses, you know ; 
so what did we do, but we sent for a chimbley sweeper's boy, who 
went up for to see into the merits of the case; but no, not a bit of it I 
—they were not there-^they were nowhere 1 However they managed 
to cut away, you know, as they must have done some how or ano- 
ther, is a mystery which can't be exploded." 

Valentine smiled at the recollection of the scene ; but as the waiter 
was about to give additional particulars, the coach rattled into the 
yard. There sat Uncle John upon the box by the side*of Tooler, and 
Valentine, without vraiting for him to alight, at once leaped upon the 
wlieel and grasped his hand. 



VALENTIinB VOX. 969 

Uncle John was for a moment unable to speak. His heart was far 
too full of joy ; and as he pressed the hand of his nephew with the 
¥rarmth of affection, his eyes swam in tears. 

'^ I am so pleased to see you 1" said Valentine. 

'< My boy I — my boy I" cried the affectionate old gentleman, gazing 
upon him as well as he coidd through his tears with an expression of 
ecstasy, — " God bless you ! God l)lees you I — ^Why how you have 
grown r he continued, afto a pause. ^' Your poor mother would 
scarcely believe her own eyes !*' 

" She is well, I hope V 

^^ Oh, yes : quite well ! — quite well \" — and while ho answered, he 
continued to gaze upon his ^ boy" in the fulness of affectionate pride. 
He was then so happy that it singularly enough did not occur to him 
that he was still on the box : nor woidd it in all probability have oc- 
curred to him for the next half hour, had not Tooler addre^ed him on 
the subject of his luggage. 

^^ Well," said Valentine, when his uncle had alighted, ^^ what sort 
of a journey have you had Y* 

^^ You young dog, sir I" exclaimed Unde John, '' I never had such 
a journey ! My hfe has been in jeopardy all the way. I have, as 
nearly as possible fallen off that box twenty times ! How dare you 
serve a man as you served poor old Tooler the day you came up, sir ? 
He has told me all about it. I know that it was you I He has kept 
me for the last forty miles in one continual roar. The idea ! — and 
then for him to fancy " — Here he again began to laugh with so much 
energy and spirit, that it was with difficulty he managed to point out 
his ancient portmanteau and trunk. This feat was, however, eventually 
accomplished, and the coachman came up ostensibly with the view of 
expressing his most anxious solicitude, having reference to its being all 
right. 

« Well, Tooler," said Valentine, " how is the witch T 
** Oh I — ^Ah I — Yow were the young genehnan as were wi' me, sir. 
How d'ye due ? We were puty nigh makin a muddle on't that time, 
sir, wam't we ? — the baggage !" 
** Have you seen her of late V 

^^ Oh bliumi her no, not very lately ; nor don't seems to want. She 
out to be swum, sir I — that ud cule her !" 

^^ Qet away you young dog 1" said Uncle John, as he placed a half- 
crown in Tooler's hand ; when as Valentine smiled, and as Undo Jolm 
laughed, Tooler stared precisely as if he was unable to tell the meaning 
of it exactly, while Valentine who had no disposition to enlighten him 
on the subject, directed one of the porters to call a coach, into which he 
and his uncle got with the luggage without any unnecessary delay. 

On arriving at Valentine's lo<^ng8, they found that everjrthing re- 
quired had been duly prepared by tne attentive little widow ; the (ire 
was blamng brightly ; the tea was quite ready, and a ham which had 
been cooked for that particular occasion, stood prominently forward 
embelUshed with an infinite variety of devices which had been cut out 
of carrots and turnips with surpassing ingenuity, and truly artistical 



270 LIFB AND ADTENTURBS OP 

taste. Uncle John looked carefully round the room, and having ex- 
pressed himself satisfied with the whole of the arrangements, drew the 
sofa near the fire^ and sat deliberately down with the air of a man 
having no other object in view than that of making himself quite at 
home. 

After tea^ Valentine presented him with a meerschaum, which he 
had purchased expressly for that occasion, and which Uncle John ex- 
amined and appeared to prize more highly than any other thing in his 
possession. But before he commenced smoking, he insisted that Valen- 
tine should enter into a compact of a serious character, the spirit of 
which was, that the conversation should be confined that evening to the 
extraordinary case of Goodman, for as he had akeady laughed enough 
for one day, ho contended that he could not endure the relation of any 
reprehensible tricks. This was accordingly understood and agreed to, 
and on the subject of Qoodman's absence, they therefore conversed. 
Uncle John felt quite sure that he should be able to find him, being 
determined as he explained, to go at once to head-quarters, and witli 
this conviction strongly impressed upon his mind, he eventually retired 
for the night. 

Now it happened that on the foUowing morning he had occasion to go 
into the city, and it also happened that that very rooming was the morn- 
ing of the 8th of November. For the city therefore, immediately after 
breakfast, he and Valentine started, and on reaching Cheapside, they 
heard Bow church bells ringing very merrily and firing very fiercely, and 
hence naturally imagined that some civic business of importance was 
about to take place. They had not proceeded far before they heard a lively 
flourish of trumpets, and saw a long line of private carriages approach- 
ing, some of which were extremely gay, preceded by certain official 
individuals on horseback, having under tlieir immediate surveillance a 
little legion of constables, of whom the majority were zealously occu- 
pied in striking the noses* of horses attached to vulgar vehicles with 
their staves, and commanding their drivers, in a duly authoritative tone, 
to get out of the way down the back streets at once, if they vrished to 
avoid the consequences of their official displeasure. 

Of course Valentine enquired into the meaning of all this, and was 
informed that the newly elected lord mayor was about to be sworn into 
office : he also ascertained that none were admitted into the Guildhall 
to witness the solemn ceremony, but those who had orders. *^ I should 
like to be present exceedingly," said he, *'but then where are these 
orders to be procured ?" 

*^ Probably," suggested Uncle John, ^' we shall be able to get them 
of Clarkson, upon whom we are now about to call" 

To Clarkson's they therefore hastened, and after the business in hand 
had been transacted, Mr. Clarkson sent out for an order at once. 

*^ But you should go to the Lord Mayor's dinner," said that gentle- 
man, when the messenger had departed. ^^That indeed would be a treat 
if you never were there." 

*' Is it possible," said Uncle John, ^^ for any but members of the cor- 
poration to be admitted without a special invitation ?" 



YALBNTINE VOX. 271 

** Oh dear me, yes I Yon have but to procure a ticket of an alder- 
man, or one of the common-council.*' 

^' It unfortunately happens, that I have not the honour to be ac- 
quainted with any one of those gentlemen," rejoined Unde John; ^^but 
could I not purchase two, for me and my nephew, by implying at head 
quarters ?" 

^^ They are not to be purchased there." 

** I'd give ten pounds for two of them to any man with pleasure." 

^^ In that case," observed Mr. Clarkson, '* you have only to put an 
advertisement to that effect into one of the morning papers, to be grati- 
fied. Tho common-councilmen frequently dispose of them in that way. 
But, now I come to think of it, it strikes me that there is a chance of 
my being able to get them without any such expense. It is certainly 
rather late; but I'u try — 111 do my utmost. Leave your address. I 
think that I may almost venture to promise." 

** My dear sir !" cried Uncle John, " you can't conceive how much 
obliged to you I should feel. Why, it would be to us tlie highest 
treat in nature ! Val, write the address." 

This was accomplished of course with great alacrity, and the mes- 
senger having returned with tho order. Uncle John again explained 
how highly he should esteem the promised favour, and proceeded with 
Yaleutme at once to Guildhall, descanting with due eloquence on the 
politeness of Mr. Glarkson. 

On reaching the entrance, they found it surrounded by a number of con- 
stables, who were watching with apparently intense interest, certain groups 
of ratlier suspicious-looking young gentlemen, who wore their hats over 
their eyes, that the back of their heads might be sufficiently well aired, and 
one tastefully inverted curl immediately over each temple. Without en- 
tering, however, into the spirit of the interest thus created. Uncle John 
submitted tho order to a person in attendance, and they proceeded at once 
into the body of the Hall, which then assumed an appearance very dif- 
ferent from that which distinguished it when Valentine imparted appa- 
rently speech to the civic giants. On this occasion, a great variety of 
banners, shields, and other insignia were displayed with appropriate taste 
in all directions ; and while on the left a number of workmen were 
engaged, some in making all the noise they deemed essential to* the 
manufacture of tables and forms, and others on taking the mock men 
in armour out of blankets, with the view of placing them in the various 
niches of the Hall ; on the right stood between three or four hundred 
persons, who were occupied in looking, vnth great apparent curiosity, 
at about fifty solemn individuals, in gowns trimmed with fur, who 
were sitting with appropriate grace and gravity on either side of an 
open space, at the upper end of which stood a large arm chiur, behind 
an ancient and dirty little table. 

^ Who are those gentlemen ?" enquired Valentine, of a person who 
stood near him. 

^^ Tho common councilmen, " replied that person ; '^ they are waiting 
for the Lord Mayor and aldermen, who are now in the council chamber 
up them there steps." 



272 LIFB AND ADTENTURBS OF 

At thb intereetiog moment, snndry hiffh oAcial penomiges ran 
down those stops, and after bustling backwards and forwards, and 
looking very mysterions, ran np them again with great presence of 
mind. Thb proceeding appeared to be indicative of something, for it 
instantly caused many others to bustle, with equal dexterity and tact, 
and doubtless, with an equally high object in Tiew. 

At length an extremely important Ipersonage made his appearance, 
and every eye was in an instant directed to the steps down which he 
had majestiodly glided. The noise of the workmen ceased — a proces- 
sion approached. A death-like silence pervaded the hall: the sus- 
pense was truly awful. The style in which the mighty individuals 
who composed this procession stepped out, was inconceivably grand ! 
Solemnity was the chief characteristic of each look — importance was 
perched upon each ample brow. Thdr air was noble 1 They seemed 
to feel the weight of their respective responsibilities, albdt they bore 
them with dignity and ease. Some were adorned with violet gowns, 
richly embellished with massive chains of virgin gold ; but although 
some hod gowns without any such embellishment, and others had no 
gowns at sdl, all who formed .'the procesdon looked equally immense, 
and equally resolved to inspire spectators with awe. 

Well! on arriving at that part of the Hall, in which the grave 
common councilmen were sitting in all their glory, the civic king, who 
was about to abdicate, proceeded majestically to the chair. He really 
appeared to know that it was for the last time, but he nevertheless 
kept up his spirits, and absolutely smiled upon all around vriih sur- 
passing grace, although it was, beyond dispute, an extremely trying 
moment. 

It may have been in all probability observed, that when mortals do 
anything for the last time — conscious of its bdng for the last time — ^they 
feel it ; but who that hath not been a Lord Mayor himself^ can appreciate 
the feelings which rack a lord mayor on hua resigning in ioio^ that which 
had 4br years been placed upon the pinnacle of his ambition ? It was 
suggested, some few years ago, that it was hard that the Mayor should 
lose his title with his office ; and it is hard, very hard, particulariy 
hard ! — ^the title ought to be retained. To be addressed as ^* my lord,* 
for twelve calendar months, and as ^ sir" for ever after, is monstrous ! 
But this matter will be seen in the right light by-and-bye^ and posterity 
will hold the age in which we now live, to be one of ilie dark ones in 
consequence. However, be this as it may, there is one thing quite 
dear, and that is this — ^Uiat the Lord Mayor, in this instance, sat for 
the last time in the state chair, with truly admirable resignation, and 
that the Lord Mayor dect, who was a much stouter man, sat besidehim. 

Sodi, therefore, bdng the state of the case then, an individual, who 
was at that time ydept the [common crier, walked solemnly in front of 
the state chair, and made an extremdy profound reverence, with the 
maoe upon his shoulder. He then took three very graceful stepe^and made 
another low reverence, and then three steps more, when having made 
another reverence of a character still more profound, he ingeniously 
made the maoe stand upright before the table. On this highly appro- 



YALENTINB VOX. 273 

priate piece of unspeakable aolemnity, being accomplbhed to the entire 
satiafaction of all concerned, a grave personage, who rejoiced in the 
extraordinary title of Town Clerk, marched in front of the state chair, 
and after taking nine well-measured steps, halting three times of course, 
to make three very distinctly marked reverences, which were quite as 
low as those tliat had been made by the Town Crier — he happily ar- 
rived at the table, when the Lord Mayor elect most majestic^y r6se 
with a view to the reception of the oaths. ■ 

Those oaths were administered; and when the Lord Mayor elect 
had placed his signature in a journal expressly provided for that pur- 
pose, the old Lord Mayor left the chair, and after solemnly ap- 
proaching the new Lord Mayor and taking him affectionately by the 
hand, he smiled a peculiarly gracious smile, said an encouraging some- 
thing, handed him, with unexampled elegance ^to that seat which he 
had for twelve months occupied with honour to himself and advantage 
to the city, and sat beside him amidst a loud clapping of liands, which 
was at once very solemn and very enthusiastic. The worthy aldermen 
then rose with all the dignity at their command, for the purpose of 
congratulating the new civic king, and shaking hands with his lordship 
individually, and warmly, and when this had been gracefully and satis- 
fiictorily accomplished, the Chamberlain — a person, on the subject of 
whose solemnity of aspect two rational opinions could not be enter- 
tained, stood in front of the new Lord Mayor and made a reverence, 
and having measured the distance with his eye, took four steps — in 
consequence of his steps being shorter, although his legs were longer 
than those of the Common Crier and the Town Clerk, who, in three steps 
got over the same space of ground — and made another low reverence ; 
and then he took four steps more, and having made a third reverence, 
equally profound, he presented the late Lord Mayor with a sceptre, 
and the late Lord Mayor having nothing then to do with it, handed it 
over to the new Lord Mayor, when the new Lord Mayor returned it 
to the Chamberlain, who placed it upon the table and made a fourth 
low reverence, and took four steps backwards to make a fifth low re- 
verence, and then four steps more to make a sixth low reverence, when 
he held out his hand for the seal, and having advanced and retired in 
like manner, taking the same number of steps, and making the same 
number of reverences, he gracefully held forth his hand for the 
purse, .with which the same solemn ceremony was perform^ with this 
addition, that the new Lord Mayor did shake the purse with the view 
iA ascertaining what was in it — a proceeding which shocked the grave 
personages present, who obviously held it to be a species of levity 
which was, under the awful circumstances of the case, reprehensible in 
the extreme. 

This feeling, however, lasted but for a moment, and the Chamberlain 
had no sooner finished his task, which he appeared to hold in high ad- 
miration, than the junior clerk advanced in the self-same fashion, but 
with somewhat less grace than the Chamberlain had displayed, and 
having taken the sceptre, seal, and purse from the table, retired, stepping 
backwards as a matter of course, and making six profound reverences 

N N 



274' LIFE AND ADVENTDRES OF 

altogether, when another individual bearing a sword, which seemed to 
be within an inch or two as long as himself, advanced and presented it 
to the late Lord Mayor, who presented it to the new Lord Mayor, who 
returned it to the individual who had submitted it to their notice, and 
who retired with it backwards, having made the prescribed number of 
reverences with a tact which the junior clerk must have envied. 

This was all very solemn and very interesting; but Uncle John 
could not appreciate its importance ! ^' What," said he in a whisper, 
*^what in the name of reason is the use of it? What does it all 
mean?" 

Valentine was not then prepared to explain either its use or its con- 
nection wdth the name of reason, but he suggested that the probability 
was that it meant something, and hinted at the possibility of those 
reverences being absolutely essential to the preservation of the city's 
charter. It struck him, however, at the same time forcibly that a suffi- 
cient number of reverences had not been made, for he remembered that 
at the House of Commons they made eighteen bows — that is to say 
three to every four steps — ^whereas here they had made but six, which 
amounted to a clear taking off of two-thirds of the solemnity. 

Thus, however, this part of the ceremony was accomplished, and the 
late Lord Mayor, when the bearer of the sword had retired, rose again 
to shake hands with the new Lord Mayor, when the Aldermen rose for 
the same solemn purpose, then the whole of the common councilmen, 
and then tlie great officers of the various companies, and then all the 
rest of the functionaries attached to the corporation : in fine, his lord- 
ship was shaken by the hand by about three hundred individuals, and as 
they all shook as 'ii they were anxious to shake his hand off, his lord- 
ship, immediately after the operation, very carefully placed his right 
hand in his bosom with a view to the eventual restoration of his wnst, 
when the whole of the ceremony being thus completed, he and the late 
Lord Mayor, preceded by the officers, and followed by the aldermen, 
left the hall in the same solemn style as that in which they had entered. 

Uncle John, however, still thought the whole of the ceremony — ^with 
the exception of the process of aaministering the oaths — most absurd. 
He did not approve of it : he could not approve of it : he held it to be 
the most foolishly ridiculous piece of mummery he had ever beheld ; 
but Valentine suggested that men should not denounce or even deem 
that absurd, the utility and meaning of which they could not under- 
stand. ''In those reverences," said he, " for example, there may be 
more, much more than meets the eye. Upon them the rights and privi- 
leges of the citizens may for aught we know entirely depend. But in- 
dependently of this, it is abundsmtly clear that in denouncing these 
proceedings as mere foolery, we denounce by implication as fools, all by 
whom these proceedings are upheld, and we must not allow it to escape 
us, that we are now in the very first city in the world, the most en- 
lightened spot upon the face of the globe, the very centre of civili- 
zation. We therefore ought not to suppose it to be likely that these 
ceremonies, however ridiculous they may appear, would be upheld if 
there were not something in them of a solemn and useful character." 



VALENTINE VOX. 275 

Uncle John was by no means convinced of the soundness of this 
argument which he fancied at the time had been seriously adduced. 
He felt still that the ceremony was foolish, and although he would not 
go so far as to say that those grave and enlightened looking personages 
whom he had seen were really fools, he contended that they ought to 
repudiate those absurdities as things which were utterly beneath uiem. 

'^ But/' said Valentine, although he quite agreed with Uncle John, 
'' if we even admit that these eeremonies {gre in the abstract absurd, are 
we sure that it is not expedient to uphold them ? Authority must not 
be stripped of its trappings ; and as the world still consents to be de- 
ceived by ornament, the universality of the deception forbids the sup- 
position of its maintenance being utterly vain." 

*' There is certainly a little more in that/' said Uncle John, '* and I 
suppose we should find it the same at head-quarters ; but I must say 
that in this case the thing has been carried a little beyond bounds, for 
instead of those ceremonies having the effect of inspiring the people 
with awe, they have a tendency only to excite their contempt ; and so 
that question's settled." And as Valentine permitted it to be thus 
settled, they at once left the hall; but as Uncle John on reaching 
Cheapside, would stop to inspect, minutely, the contents of almost 
every shop- window, their progress was indeed but slow. They did, 
however, eventually arrive at St. Paul's Church Yard, and as they per- 
ceived, on passing tlie north door of the Cathedral, that it was about 
half open. Uncle John expressed an anxious wish to enter the noble 
edifice, and having ascended the steps, they saw the door-keeper 
just inside, with a piece of cold meat on a thick slice of bread in 
one hand, and a clasp knife of really assassinating dimensions in the 
other. 

^'Can we be admitted ?" enquired Valentine of this person. 

*^ Tuppence each !" said the fellow, as he unhooked the chain which 
held the door. 

'' Two-pence each !" cried Uncle John, with an expression of indig- 
nation. *^What do you mean, sir? Here is my card, I demand ad- 
mittance !" 

^^ It's tuppence each !" repeated the door-keeper emphatically ; and 
Valentine drew out his purse. 

''By no means!" said Uncle John, restraining him, ''by no means. 
It is not the money but the principle at which I look. It is a mon- 
strous principle — a principle that I never will encourage ; it being nei- 
ther more nor less than that of converting the House of God mto a 
twopenny exhibition. It is perfectly disgraceful," he continued, ad- 
dressing the door-keeper. "Your conduct shall be known, sir, at head- 
quarters!" 

The fellow replaced the chain, laughed, and took another mouthful 
of bread and meat, as Uncle John descended the steps with Valentine, 
descanting with due eloquence upon the monstrous character of this 
truly impious species of extortion. 

lliey now proceeded home, where they found that Mr. Clarkson had 
already sent the tickets, with a most polite note, in which he strongly 



276 UFE AND ADVlSNTUREa OF 

jrecommended them to s^ the procession. This thej thought eitremehf 
kind. Uncle John at onoe declared that he should never forget it, and 
a very conmderable portion of the evening was in consequence occupied 
with a discussion, the ohject of which was to decide which had the pre- 
ponderance in the world — good or evil. 

In the morning, immediately after breakfast, they started for Guild- 
hall, and London seemed to have poured the whole of her artisans into the 
city. It was then, and had been for the three preceding centuries at least, 
a erand day for the sight-seejrs of the metropolis. The streets through 
which the glorious pageant had to pass, were densely thronged with 
men, women, and chilcuen, splashed up to their very necks, while the 
windows of the houses on either side were filled with gaily dressed per- 
sons, who amused themselves by making the most pleasing observa- 
tions upon those who were moving below them in the )nud. 

The neaier they got to QmldhaS, the more dense the crowd became^ 
but as Uncle John msisted upon goinff to *^ head-quarters,'^ they turned 
into King Street, and tried with desperation to thread the mortal 
labyrinth there established. Unde John was, however, very soon out 
of breath, for he met vnth all sorts of obstructions ; and as those ob- 
structions increased, and were likely to increase as he proceeded, he 
wisely resolved upon seeking some spot, in which he might stand com- 
paratively free from annoyance. 

" What a shame it is, that women should bring children in arms," 
said he, on hearing a female, who had an infiint at ner breast, scolding 
two men for '' squeedging her babby." On looking round, however, 
he saw that by far the greater portion of the women were similarly 
circumstanced, and hence, assuming that the fact might have some 
direct, or indirect, connection with the privileges peculiar to the city, 
he said no more on the subject ; but passed on at onoe to a place, in 
which they felt the mighty pageant might be viewed without any 
serious pressure, 

** The sight must, I should say, be magnificent to draw such a 
multitude together," observed Valentine. 

*^ Magnificent !" exclaimed Uncle John, ^^ I have always understood 
it to be the most goigeous afiair the imagination of man can conceive ! 
But we shall see. I don't pretend to understand the utility of it 
exactly ; but I expect it will be splendid. We shall see." 

The crowd now increased about the spot in which they stood, and 
all were naturally anxious to get in front. ^^ Vill you be so obleeging 
as to let my httle boy stand uore you, if you please," said a woman 
addressing Uncle John. 

**^ By adl means, my good woman," and he immediately made way 
for the little boy ; but the moment the space was opened, the good 
woman herself, duly followed by a knot of tall coal-heaving creatures, 
rushed in, and thus placed Unde John in a position in which he could 
not see at all. He, therefore, made an observation, of which the pur- 
port was, that such a proceeding was by no means polite : and the 
coat-heaven heard this remarkabk observation; and it struck them 



a • 



# 



• 



« 





'/, i,,,,- . '/:,.y,,-,,/- 



YALENTINE TOX. 277 

as being so novel and so good, that they enjoyed it exceedingly, and 
laughed very loudly. 

Valentine, therefore, drew Unele John to another choice spot, in 
which they waited with due patience for some considerable time, 
making other obserrations of an equally remarkable casUy and being 
occasionally enlivened by sundry loud cries of " Here they come T 

At length they saw a mighty rush, and heard the trembling trumpets 
sound I The efifect was electric ! The crowd was sdzed with an uni- 
versal thrill ! The glorious pageant was on the move I The band 
approached ! — ^the drums rolled ! — ^the earth seemed in convulsions ! 

An immense individual on horseback now darted about, spurring his 
proud steed so hard that already had he fretted him into such a dreadful 
state of perspiration, that his neck, back, and haunches were covered 
with white steaming foam. 

**• That's a fool ! said Uncle John, as this person galloped backwards 
and forwards with the view of making himself as conspicuous as posnble. 
*^ He ought to blush. That horse is not his own ; or if it be, it's the 
first he ever had, and he hasn't had it long. He seems to me to be 
quite new in office : hence he thus frets and stews that poor animal in 
OTder to show his official assiduity.'* 

^^ It's essential to the progress of the pageant, no doubt," observed 
Valentine. ^^ Depend upon it, the procession couldn't get along without 
him. Behold with what elegance he bows I — ^and see those respect^ible 
coal-heavers there, how gracefully, with a nod of recognition, they 
wave their lily hands. He has, doubtless, the honour of being ex- 
tremely intimate with those gentlemen." — ^And away the great officer 
galloped again, as Uncle John boldly declared it to be his unbought and 
unbiassed opinion that the animal must very soon drop down dead. 

A mounted military band now passed plapng fiercely ; then came a 
mighty host of distinguished individuals in blue and yellow caps, and 
pink calico gowns, most appropriately headed by an extremely dirty 
streamer, the arms magnificently emblazoned upon which miffht, in 
ancient times, in all probability, have been sensible to sight. The first 
of these warlike creatures eroaned beneath the weight of a mighty 
scaffoM-pole, of which the curcumference at its base was about twenty 
inches, and to which were attached three other long poles, borne by 
tiiree other creatures for the purpose of keeping the mighty one steady ; 
but despite all their effi:>rts — ^which were really very desperate, and very 
laudable — every slight gust of wind which caught the glorious streamer, 
made them stagger like warriors in the last stage of lively intoxication. 

** What do they make those poor men carry such an enormous thing 
as that for ?" enquired Uncle John. 

** Doubtless," replied Valentine, ^' with a view to the maintenance 
of the peculiar r^hts and privileges of the city." — And other hosta 
passed ynih other long streamers, looking equally ancient and equally 
glorious ; and after a line of glass-coaches — the drivers of which were 
adorned with cockades of extraordinary dimensions — there came a 
mighty warrior clad in complete steel, with a countenance which, while 



278 LIFE AND ADTElfTURES OF 

it expressed irae nobility of soul, was embellished with wfaiteiiiiig» 
burnt cork, and yermilion. He was mounted, of course, on a wariike 
charger, which appeared to be endeavouring to understand the precise 
meaning of a piece of steel which had beoi strapped in front of his 
head, with the view of imparting to him the sembhuice of an unicorn ; 
but the warrior himself really looked very fierce, very noble, and very 
uncomfortable. 

*^ What is that fellow for ?" enquired Uncle John, with really repre- 
hensible irreverence. 

'^In all probability," replied Valentine, ^Ho Ji^ikt for the peculiar 
rights and privileges of the city." 

^' To fight ! — ^and there's another in brass ! Do they look like fight- 
ing meuf A cane would be sufficient to unhorse them^ and what 
would they have it in their power to do then ?" 

Tins was clearly a very ungracious observation, for the noble war- 
riors tried to look as desperate as possible as they passed, with the 
yeomen of the guard — with remarkably low crowned hats, and eqnaDy 
remarkable high plaited frills— on either side. 

The late Lord Mayor followed, leaning back in his carriage, and 
looking very grave and very gloomy. His chief object was to conceal 
himself from the crowd as much as possible, and this is acknowledged 
universally to be a development of sound discretion. Late Lord Mayors 
are seldom popular with the mob. In the performance of their high 
functions, they are called upon to punish so many, that were they to 
make themselves at all conspicuous, they would be sure to be popu- 
larly recognised, and recognitions of that kind are at all times, and on 
both sides extremely disagreeable. 

T\ke late Lord Mayor, therefore, passed in solemn silence, without 
apparently wishing to provoke any unpleasant recollections, and was 
followed by six individuals who sported very highly polished pumps, 
and very delicate French- white silk stockings, and who, as they walked 
on the tips of their toes, appeared to be in a dreadful state of mind, 
although the tact and dexterity with which they all hopped from stone 
to stone, were truly amazing. They took no sort of notice of the ad- 
miration they inspired ; and as for raising their eyes from the mud ! 
-'they wouldn't have looked at their own mothers. Their whole souls 
•eemed centered in the one great and glorious object of avoiding the 
innumerable little puddles in the road, and to this all their mona and 
physical energies were exclusively devoted, while they bore umbrellaa 
—expecting rain as a purely natural matter of course — with the view 
of imparting to all around, the conviction, that a smart shower only 
was required to render their happiness complete. 

On that great occasion, however, this was denied them. They, never- 
theless, pasi^ on in peace, and were immediately followed by the chief 
object of attraction. 

The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor! 
There sat his Right Honourable Lordship, in that extremely unique 



VALENTINE YOX. 279 

lad notorious machine, yclept by the vulgar the ''civic state carriage/' 
scarcely knowing what to make of it, and looking as fascinating, and 
bowing as grot^quely as possible, while two important personages sat 
looking out of the windows, apparently with the view of exciting loud 
laughter, their prominent chanu^ristics being really so droll. 

'^ Hooray!" exclaimed a mob of very dirty individuals on the 
left of Uncle John. '' Hooray !" His Right Honourable Lordship 
smiled graciously, and bowed with excessive dignity, and looked very 
happy, and very healthy. The sight was glorious ! — ^but as this ma» 
chme wound up the pageant, it had no sooner passed than Uncle John 
began to swell with indignation. '* Is it— can it be possible ?" he ex- 
claimed, ^* that this trumpery, pitiful, gingerbread busmess, should have 
induced so many thousands of persons to leave their homes to be 
knocked about, insulted, and covered with mud! Why, it is beyond 
dispute, the most vile and contemptible piece of mummerv I ever vrit- 
neieed. Is this, forsooth, your most enlightened city m the world ? 
What is the object of it — what does it all mean ? As true as I'm alive 
it's the most paJtry, the most absurd, unmeaning, tin*pot piece of foolery, 
the most ridiculous, disgraceful — I've been robbed!" he continued, 
thrusting his hand into his pockets. '^ I've been plundered ! — they've 
stolen my handkerchief." 

*' Nothinff else ?*' enquired Valentine. 

Uncle John felt in the whole of his pockets at once, and then 
searched them seriatim, and then said : '* No-*no — nothing else. But 
then what could I expect? If the object were to draw together mul- 
titudes of thieves, it were utterly impossible to conceive a better plan. 
Nothing in life could be more directly calculated to give the pick- 
pockettmg scoundreb full swing. It is fit for nothing else in the world« 
The authorities, and those who uphold or even £ul to denounce it, 
onght to blush." 

**But how can you conceive it to be possible," urged Valentine, ''for 
the dignity of the city to be upheld without it?" 

'' The dignity of the city 1" echoed Uncle John contemptuously, 
*' Don't tell me that the dignity of the city can be upheld by such an 
atrocious and trumpery mockery as this. It is an absolute disgrace to 
the city. It tends to bring every thine bearing the semblance of dig- 
nity into contempt. It is amarang, that the people at head-quarters 
should sanction so childish an e&ibition. There is not a spark of 
reason in it — ^nothing to save it from ridicule, or to qualify contempt. 
It is pardonable certainly under the circumstances that tee came ; but 
if it were possible for any man livmg to prevail upon me to witness 
such a display of tom-foolery twice, I should never forgive myself-* 
never ! If they must go to Westminster, let them go Ime men — but 
come along my boy, come along." 

" But you'll go and see the pageant on the water V said Valentine. 

" / see the pageant on the water !" exclaimed Uncle John, " No, no ; 
I've had enough of it, more than enough ;" and having called the first 
coach that came in sight, they at once proceeded home. 

Valentine was higUy amused at the indignation displayed by Uncle 



280 LIFB AND ADVENTURBS OF 

John. He regaided it as a sort of oompenBation for the dieappoini- 
ment he had ezperienoed, and he could not disgaise from himself 
that he had heen diBappointed, for instead of the procesnon being 
magnificent, as he certainly expected it would have been, he held it to 
be a most senseless a&ir, and wondered quite as much as Uncle John, 
how the grave authorities of the City of London could uphold a species 
of mummery so wretched. 

^ Well r said Uncle John, on reaching home, ^^ we will go at ail 
events and see the end of this business ; but if the banquet be con- 
ducted in a similar style, I shall set down the grsat corporation of 
London at once as a great corporation of fools." And having thus 
expressed his sentiments on the subject, he began to bustle about, and 
continued to be particularly busy until the time for starting had arrived, 
when they sent for a coach, and set off for Guildhall, with no very mag- 
nificent anticipations. 

On entering the hall. Uncle John was, however, so struck vnth the 
dazzling splendour of the scene, that Valentine could scarcely get him 
alone. ^^ Well," said he, ** this is indeed very brilliant. It makes up 
fior iQl. They could produce nothing better than this at head-quarters.*' 

Valentine assented at once to thu opinion, but urged him again to 
proceed, and after an immense deal of pulling and persuasion, he suc- 
ceeded in seating him at one of the tables, when he explained that he 
was at that moment perfectly happy. 

This was pleasant ; and when the ceremony of receiving the distin- 
guished guests had been duly aooomplished, the tables hemn to crack 
Beneath the weight of immense tureens : and when eraoe had been said 
with due solemnity and force, the guests commenced operations in the 
twinkling of an eye. 

Uncle John, however, at first felt quite nervous. The scene had so 
excited him, that it was not until he had been challenged by several 
gentlemen, with extraordinary politeness and grace, that he was able 
to enjoy himself at all. The wine, however, very soon braced up his 
nerves by placing him on somewhat better terms with himself, and he 
began to feel perfectly at home, and succeeded in eating an excellent 
dinner, and freely expressed his sentiments on the chief characteristics 
of the banquet, and conversed with much eloquence and warmth with 
several exceedingly communicative persons, who politely pointed out 
the most distinguished of the guests — an operation in the performance 
of which, most men experience peculiar pleasure. 

Well ! in due time the Lord Mayor commenced the list of toasts, and 
the speedies, cheers, and glees which succeeded were so enlivening and 
appropriate, that they seemed to impart universal delight. 

But it happened that at that particular period of British history, the 
Mimsters of the Crown were extremely unpopular with the party to 
which their immediate official predecessors belonged*-a fact which is of 
so striking and extraordinary a character, that it oecomes highly correct 
to record it in these adventures. They were remarkably unpopular 
with that particular party ; but as it was usual on such occasions for 
the Ministers of the Crown to be invited, all who happened at the time 



TAJtwmm Toz. 281 

to be in London, notwitlistanding their extreme nnpopulariij, came, 
and moreover the health of those Ministos of the Chrown was pkoed 
on the list of toasts. 

Now Yalentioe knew something of the power of party spirit. He 
knew that principle and honour were perpetually sacriSced at its shrine. 
In the town in which he was bom, he bad witnessed it rising upon the 
ruins of friendship and afiection ; and had found it in the metropolis to 
be equally powerful, and equally pemietous. The little experience he 
had had of its effects, had hence inspired him with the conviction of its 
being alone sufficiently powerful to subvert almost every generous 
feeling by which men are actuated ; but he wondered if it were possible 
for its development to be induced there, where so many of the first men 
of the age — men distinguished for wealth, probity, and wisdom — ^had 
assembled, and where joy and good fellowship seemed to be in the as- 
cendant. 

He looked round : they all appeared happy. The dark passions 
were subdued. Envy, hatred, msdice, and all uncharitableness seemed, 
for the time being, by common consent, to be extinguished. They had 
assembled for no party purpose ; but with a view to the cultivation of 
those feelings which impart a asest to life, and which bind man to man. 
£very heart seemed open-— every hand seemed ready to give and to 
receive the warm pressure of friendship. It appeared to be a moment 
peculiarly adapted for the reconciliation of friends who had become 
enemies, their hearts seemed so ardent — ^their feelings so pure. 

Notwithstanding all this, however, Valentine determined, for his own 
satisfaction, on trying the experiment. He inclined to the opinion, that 
the slightest manifestation of party-spirit would, at such a time, be 
treated as so great an indignity, that it would instantly be drowned in 
enthusiastic cheers, in which men of all parties would readily Join; 
but in order to test the soundness of this opinion he resolved, never- 
theless, when the time came, to manifest some slight disapprobation, 
just sufficient to make it understood, and no more. 

Accordingly, when in due course the Lord Mayor rose with the view 
of proposing the health of the Ministers, Talentine, the very moment 
their names were announced, sent a sound along the table, which 
amounted to no more than a murmuring buss. In an instant the 
demon of party arose I That sound, slight as it was, was hailed as the 
signal for confusion. Every countenance changed as if by magic. 
They of the Ministerial party applauded with unparalleled vehemence ; 
while they of the Opposition hissed and groaned like tortured fiends. 

The Lord Mayor knit his brows and pursed his lips, and looked very 
indignant. His exertions to restore order were desperate but ineffec- 
tual. In vain he denounced it as an irregular proceeding. Innumer- 
able were his efforts to convince them of its being one of which he did 
not, and could not, and ought not to approve. The Opposition would 
not hear him. Tlio party tocsin had been sounded, and it proved 
the knell of peace. They who a moment before seemed so happy 
and so joyous, were now in fierce contention, their bosoms swelling 
with party spite. 

o o 



282 LIFB AND ▲DYENTURE8 OF 

At length, however, the action of the Mayor was bo extremely 
energetic, that it produced an effect Which enabled him to make a few 
additional observations, which were really very just and very much to 
the purpose; but the moment the Premier rose with his colleagues, 
with a view to the simple acknowledgment of the toast, the frantic 
sounds which assailed them were comparable only with those which 
Valentine had heard in the House of Commons. Had the Ministers been 
fiends, the Opposition could not have expressed a greater amount of 
indignation: had they been gods, the Ministerialists could not with 
greater enthusiasm have cheered them. 

Tliey nevertheless still kept their ground and that with just as much 
calmness as if they had been used to it. The Premier slightly smiled 
at his colleagues, and his colleagues smiled slightly at him. This 
seemed to enrage the Opposition still more ; but the louder they mani- 
fested their sentiments on the subject, the louder were the sentiments of 
the Ministerialists expressed. The Lord Mayor agpin rose, and the 
Opposition seemed to groan even at him, when Uncle John deeming that 
most atrocious, started up and cried '' shame !" with an expression of 
indignation which nothing else -could match. 

Valentine, however, immediately drew him down, and begged of 
him earnestly not to interfere ; buib Uncle John could not endure it. 
^^ The ingrates !" he cried, ^* thus to groan at head-quarters after 
having been swelled out as they have been, and that with all the deli- 
cacies of life ! It*s really monstrous \" 

^^ It is, it is, I know it is," said Valentine, *' but don't interfere/' 

Uncle John shook his head very fiercely ; he was very indignant ; 
and the Lord Mayor said something which could not be heard ; but 
which appeared to be generally understood to be very severe, for it had 
the effect of somewhat subduing th^ most noisy ; but the moment the 
Premier opened his lips to address them, the Opposition recommenced 
operations, and the conflict between them and the Mimsterialists became 
far more desperate than ever. 

^^ Silence ! You wretches P* exclaimed Uncle John. 

^^ Uncle ! Uncle 1" cried Valentine, pulling him down, ^' they'll tilke 
you for one of the Opposition !" 

'^ Let them l" returned Uncle John. '* Let them take me for one of 
the Opposition ; I am one of the Opposition ; but I'd scorn to oppose 
men in this cowardly way." 

The Lord Mayor again rose, and with most indignant emphasis 
said, '^ Really ;" — but as this was all the Opposition sufiSred him to say, 
he at once resumed his seat with a look very istrongly indicative of 
anger. 

It became quite impossible now for Unde John to remain quiet. 
He kept fidgetting about, grindmg his teeth, and biting his lips, and 
exclaiming as he clenched his fists, ^' Oh ! I should like to be at some 
of them dearly !" He put it to those around him, whether it were not 
most disgraceful, and their affirmative replies made him infinitely worse. 
Had they wisely dissented, they might have calmed him at least in so 



▼AtBNTINB VOX. 283 

far as to indaoe him to arf^e the point, but as the case stood, Valen- 
tine fonnd it impossible to restrain him. 

^'If/' said the Premier, with really admirable coolness and self- 
possession, taking advantage of a temporary lull : '^ If the gentlemen 
will only be silent for one moment — " No ! — They would not be for 
one moment silent : they recommenced groaning like furies, and this 
of course agun induced thunders of applause. 

** Where are these eroaners?" thought Yalentine. He could hear 
them distinctly enough, but couldn't see them. ** Are they ail Ven- 
triloquists ?" 

His attention was at this particular moment directed to an elderly 
individual whose mouth was apparently closed. He watched him nar* 
rowly. He was straining at somethmg. His face was remarkably 
red, and while his eyes appeared to be in the act of starting from their 
sockets, he was obviously perspiring with infinite freedom. Could he 
be a groaner ? He was ! He was then hard at work : no man could 
have oeen more zealous although he kept his eyes fixed vdth surpassing 
firmness upon the table as if watching the evolutions, of some very 
minute natural curiosity, and apparently noticing no other thing. 

''Shame!" cried Valentine, throwing his voice dexterously behind 
this indefatigable person, who turned sharply round, being duly appre- 
hensive of detection, but as, contrary to his lively anticipations, he saw 
no one there, he very wisely returned to his interesting task, which 
really seemed to a£Ford him unspeakable pleasure. 

'^ I see you," said Valentine, throwing his voice again just behind 
the individual in question, and again he looked round with an expres- 
sion of intense interest ; but as of course he could see no one near him, 
he appeared to regard it as by far the most astonishing circumstance 
that ever occurred to him during the whole course of his life. *' I see 
you !" repeated Valentine, which was really the fact : he saw him in a 
state of amazement the most remarkable he ever beheld. The indivi- 
dual seemed not to know at all what to make of it. He felt that 
surely he could not be mistaken, that surely he had heard some one 
speak, and that surely he was at that moment under no direct or indi- 
rect supernatural influence ! — and yet, where was the man who had 
addressed him ? This was a mystery which he had by no means the 
ability to solve, but it had the effect of inducing him to be silent^ 
although the groaning in other quarters was as fierce as before. 

Tlie Opposition, however, were not alone to be blamed. The Minis- 
terialists themselves were highly culpable. Had they left the groaning 
people to pursue that great course, which appeared to inspire them with 
so much delight, unmolested ; had they been content vnth giving at the 
commencement, three glorious rounds of enthusiastic cheers, and 
then leaving the groaners to themselves, the confusion might thus have 
been avoid^. But this they would not do. They would have a bat- 
tle. They seemed to be prompted by some eternal, and essentially 
cabalistic principle, to beat them. They would make more noise ; and 
they did make more noise : they made ten times more noise tlian the 
groaners. It was they who would not let the Premier speak : it was 



284 ' LIFB AMP ADTnTUUS OF 

they who diowned the ymoe of the Lord Mayor. The giouien eonld 
nerer have stopped the speeches themsdvefli, and of this, the Minisleria- 
bsta appeared to be consoioiis, for they lent them throughout their most 
powerfdl aid. 

It is a fact, which may in all probability be held to be exiiaotdinafy, 
that the slightest sound of disapprobation, if peneTered in, is soficient 
to create in an assembly, howcYW hononraUe and enlightened, univer- 
sal oonfhsion ; but there is yet another faot, whidi is not perhaps of 
quite 80 extraordinary a diameter, but which is this — that oonstani 
straining, to state it shortly, will in fulness of time produce exhaos- 
tion; and the moment a practical illustration of that hci was in this 
particular instance afforded, the Lord Mayor, who was a manly and 
rather a handsome indiTidual, again rose, and said very properly, and 
Very energetically, '* that he and the shaiffii had not been treated as 
they exp«;ted." • 

^ Of course not ! '* exclaimed Unde John, who very serionsly 
thought, that as every thing had been provided in a style the most 
ddioatei, and the most sumptuous, from the two hundred and fifty tureens 
of real turtle to the several hundred thousand plates of pippins, sodi 
treatment was monstrous in the extreme. 

The Lord Mayor said no more : he resumed his seat with dignity, 
but still with an expression of noble indignation, and tiiat expression 
was hailed with loud cheers ; but the moment the Premier — ^who with 
his colleagues still manfully maintained his position — re-opened his lips, 
the Opposition, vdio felt themselves bound to produce the next harmony, 
favoured the company with a little more groaning. The Ministerialists 
again knew their cue, and they again set to work as one man, and did 
lodly succeed in the production of the greatest amount of noise that 
ever issued from a corresponding number of human throats. Nor were 
they content with vocal music. By no means. They beat the tables 
with aU the energy of young drummers, while Unde John was striking 
that at which he was sitting with the force of a Cyd<^M. 

The glasses danced with peculiar animation, and shook out the wine 
that was in th§m that they might do it with all possible efiect ; md 
while the pippins seemed to fancy, that they had been magically meta- 
morphosed into marbles, the dishes they had deserted rattled afler them 
fieroely, with the apparent view of convincing them that such was not 
the fiict. 

The Lord Mayor now appeared to be somewhat more tranquiL It 
seemed to have struck him with peculiar force, that it was perfectly 
vseless to manifest anger. Hiere the belligerents were: some were 
faissinff, some were groaning, some were shovtinff, and some were 
kaghmg, while others were mdignantly fidgettmg diout and explain- 
ing what they thought of the matter on the whofo. It was impossiUe 
therefore for his lordship to do any good by being an^. He coold 
not by SQch means quell the riot. He seemed to fed this forcibly, and 
faeno^ qoite oonsdous of having done aU he had the power to do, he 
very wisdy made up his mind tnat it was a duty incsmbent upon him 



TAUENTINB TOX. 285 

08 a magSfiinte, as a mayor, and as a man, to endure it all with the 
moBt perfect resigiiation. 

The Premier stood like a smiling statue. He was anxious to have 
it distinctly understood, that if they conceived him to be the man 
to sit down, before he had said what he had to say, they were dreadfully 
mistaken. He, therefore, stood as firmly as a rock, and continued thus 
to stand, until the majority of those who were engaged in the con- 
flict, displayed unequivocal symptoms of exhaustion, when taking 
advantage of that interesting moment, he managed to say something, 
which appeared to have some slight reference to the army and navy, 
and resumed his seat boldly and instantaneously, amidst an unexampled 
burst, composed of hisses, cheers, and groans. 

This, however, in a very few minutes subsided, and the glorious 
conflict was over. The Opposition party prided themselves on having 
produced it, and the Mijusterialists with equal pride, felt that they 
had had the best of it on the whole. The Lord Mayor expressed 
his sentiments on the subject to those around him, and those around 
him expressed theirs, with due eloquence and point : in fact, every 
man present — ^not excluding the professional individuals in the orchestra 
— was on this subject warmly contributing to the universal buzz, 
which for a long time pervaded the Hall. 

Valentine redly was very much annoyed at having tried the experi- 
ment. He contended within himself that he ought to have known 
that party spirit was sure to develop itself^ whenever an opportunity 
arose ; it mattered not, whether it were in the senate, the banqueting 
hall, or the church. He was, therefore, by no means content : for 
although he was perfectly conscious, that they who had permitted 
themselves to be so powerfully influenced by party feelings at such a 
time, and on such an occasion, ought to blush ; he felt, nevertheless, 
that he had awakened those feehngs ; that — although it had all been 
accomplished by a murmur — he had converted a joyous happy scene 
into one of msdicious confusion. 

The mischiei^ however, had been done, and as he thought that it 
was, therefore, extremely impolitic to vex himself any more about 
the matter then, he turned, with the view of diverting the current 
of his thoughts to some more agreeable subject, and found Unde 
Jolm fast asleep I He had been beating the table with so much energy, 
and shouting — order ! silence ! and shame ! — ^with such extraordinary 
zeal, that he had become quite exhausted; and there he sat with 
folded arms, his soul sealed to the consciousness of care, and his lips 
pouting perfect contentment, while, as he nodded, nature gave him an 
occasional jerk, with the sublime view of keeping him up. 

^ Uncle 1" said Valentine, shaking the sleeper, who murmured and 
nodded, and went to sleep again. '* Uncle !'' he continued, '' Do you 
know where you are ?" 

The sleeper was unable at that precise moment, to tell whether he 
really did or not, but he opened his eyes in order to satisfy himself on 
the subject, and then said, ^^ Why, bless me ! I'd no idea tliat I war 



<." 



289 LITE AND ADYENTimES OF 

aaleep ! not the slightest ! I hope no one noticed it ? Dear me ! it's 
highly incorrect ; very wrong : very wrong. Bnt I'm all right now — 
as wide awake as I was in flie morning. Well ! they have settled it 
I see : you have had no more disturhance V 

** No/' replied Valentine ; " bnt look at the people : how dull they 
all are I The Lord Mayor has been labouring vezy hard to restore 
them to good humour, but without any sensible effect. They have 
made up their minds now not to be pleased." And this really 
appeared to be the case. They seemed to be dissatisfied with eveiy 
thing. Toasts were proposed, and speeches were made; butnather 
speeches nor toasts could re-inspire them. 

Of course the Lord Mayor could not, under these cireumstanoes, feel 
very happy. He did all of which he was capable with a view to the 
restoration of those harmonious feelings which existed before ihe dis- 
turbance commenced ; but as he failed in this — signally fadled — he left 
the chair as soon as he could with due regard unto his dignity, and 
before twelve o'clock, every guest liad departed. 

The matter was, however, by no means allowed to rest here, the 
effects of the disturbance were terrific ! — ^it induced a paper war of the 
most desperate character — a war which raged with really unparalleled 
fierceness for weeks. Tlie Opposition journals hailed it as a glorious 
and indisputable proof of the surpassing unpopularity of those Ministen 
whom they had vrith extraordinary acuteness discovered to be totally 
unfit to rule the destinies of this mighty empire. 

" How," they exclaimed, ^' can those atrocious, and dbgusting po- 
litical anthropophagi dare to drag on their disreputable, dirty, and de- 
graded official existence after this unexampled — this mighty demon- 
stration of universal scorn ? It is an insult to the whole British nation ! 
— a gross, comprehensive, unmitigated insult ! — an insult which cannot, 
and shall not be endured ! What can be in reality more contemptibly 
atrocious than the conduct of men who have the brazen audacity — ^the 
unblushing impudence — to pretend to rule a deeply reflecting people 
who cannot regard them but with loathing and disgust ? Can anything 
reflect more disgrace upon a mighty ana highly enlightened nation, 
than the existence of men as ministers, so utterly contemptible, so 
justly abhorred ? How, then, with anv show of decency, can they for 
a moment retain office after such an universal burst of popular execra- 
tion ? Yet are they in office still ! Conscious of the whole countiy 
being against them ; — conscious of being the laughing - stock of 
Europe ; — conscious — they cannot but be conscious — of being despised 
and contemned by all the intelligence, all the wisdom, all the 
wealth, respectability, and virtue of this great nation ; these abhorrent, 
these imbecile, shabby, contemptible, political jugglers still cling, with 
the tenacity of | polypi, to power, that they may dip their un- 
hallowed fingers into the public purse to enrich themselves and their 
execrable satellites ! Englishmen \ will you suffer this humiliating 
state of things any longer to exist ? Britons ! are you prepared to 
become the slaves — tlie vile, crawling, abject slaves — of that detestable 



VALENTINE TOX. 287 

clique, of which the memhers now 6id you defiance ? If there be a 
single drop of the patriotic blood of your forefathers thrilling through 
your veins, you will arise, and with one universal and simultaneous 
burst of indignation, denounce these degraded political reptiles— as they 
were denounced at Guildhall, — and hurl them at once from that position 
in which they now have the impudence to stand I" 

While the Opposition joumaUsts were engaged in the manufacture of 
these highly appropriate philippics, they on the Ministerial side were 
contending with extraordinary force and ingenuity, that the disturbance 
in question, instead of being as pretended, a striking proof of the un* 
popularity of the ministers, in reality proved that they never were so 
popular, seeing that whereas it all originated with a disappointed alder- 
man who had under his immediate surveillance just forty individuals, 
about twenty years of age, from whom the whole of the groaning pro* 
ceeded, it would not have been worth any disappointed al£rman s while 
to have organized those groaning Individuals, if the popularity of the 
Ministers had been on the wane, or if it had not in fact been in- 
creasing. 

And this was held to be an extremely strong argument — one which 
absolutely carried conviction on the face of it ; and as the Opposition 
journalists, in their presumptuous efforts to answer it, tried desperately 
to shake it to its base ; it was again and again repeated with additional 
tropes, and hereupon the fierce journalists fell foul of each other. 

The Ministerialists commenced the attack ; they undertook to prove, 
with mathematical precision, that they of the Opposition were black- 
guards ; and the Opposition journalists being equally chivalrous, assumed 
to themselves the province of reducing to a dead certainty, that they on 
the Ministerial side were natural fools. And strange to say, they 
both eventually succeeded to their own most entire satisfaction, but — 
which is still more strange — they were utterly unable to obtain acknow- 
ledgments of success from each other! — hence, at the happy termination 
of the struggle, they ostensibly held the same views on the subject as 
those which they held when the struggle began^ 

It is a dutv, however, which the historian owes as well to himself 
as to the public, to state that these amiable and truly ferocious journa- 
lists in aU their contentions for the one grand point were sincere. They 
who were on the Opposition side of the question, did most sincerely 
think that the statesmen who were at that particular period in office, 
ought not to retain it — that they ought to make way for the statesmen 
whom they had supplanted, and who — \7ith a species of patriotism not 
often to be met with, but as admirable as it is rare — were absolutely 
ready again to take upon themselves the cares of office, and thus to 
sacrifice, to an extent altogether unknown, their private comforts 
and conveniences to the public good: they did most sincerely feel 
that this glorious opportunity was one which ought not to be lost — 
that the country owed those patriots a debt of gratitude amounting to 
Bometfaing very considerable, for offering without the slightest solicita- 
tion, to come forward at that truly awfiil erisis, to snateU the British 



288 LIFB AND ADTBHrVRES OF 

empire from the jaws of destrnoiton, aad thereby to save those instita* 
tions^which were crambliiig into i>iie undistingnishable mass of lerola- 
tionary dust. And equally sincere were the Ministerial journalists, when 
they declared it to he their decided opinion that the Ministers ought by 
no means to resign — that the goyemment of the country could not by 
possibility be confided to men of whose principles and general conduct 
they could so highly approve — ^that they were just the very men whom 
the people should support through thick and thin as the only men' 
capable of meeting the exigencies peculiar to that period — and that 
they could have no manner of confidence in those who then formed the 
corrupt and purely fieustious Opposition. Hence they laboured night 
and dEiy to inspire the people with a due appreciation of the importance 
of sustaining the Ministers, as the only chance left of averting a most 
sanguinary revolution, and hence they were inde&tigable in their efibrts 
to disseminate the betief that every act of the Ministers developed sur- 
passing soundness of judgment, and perfectly unexampled intellectual 
vigour — while every act of the Opposition displayed an extrone nax^ 
rowness of soul and a dearth of judgment really pitiable. 

The sincerity of those journalists being then so conspicuous and ex- 
tensive, it can scarcely be deemed marvefious, that the contest on that 
occasion should have been so extremely desperate as it was ; but that 
which in all probability will, in the present day, appear more extra- 
ordinary than all, is the &ct, that notwithstanding the choicest epithets 
were culled on both sides, with due care, and applied with due ferocity, 
the contest failed to affect in any way the stability of the government, 
for while the zealous exertions of the Opposition did weaken it by no 
means, it derived from those of the Ministeralists no additional strength; 
and the result of the glorious war was, that while on the one hand, 
the Ministers were recommended never again to accept an invitation to 
the grand civic feast; on the other, it was boldly and powerfully 
urged, that as Ministers they surely never would. 

From this struggle Valentine certainly did derive much amusement, 
and whra he had explained to Uncle John, that the whole afiur (vigi- 
nated with his own slight murmuring buzz, that gentleman — all^t 
he very properiy condemned the thing at first — ^viewed the progress of 
the battle with feelings of delight. Morning after morning, and even- 
ing after evening did he study the various modes of attack and de- 
fence, but although he laughed heartily and constantly at the argu- 
ments based upon arguments that were themselves based upon no^mg, 
the contest failed to increase his admiration of that uncompromisbg 
zeal, which forms so peculiarly the characteristic of the fourtli estate of 
the realm. 



VALENTINE VOX. 289 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

VALENTINE RECOVERS THE HIGHLY VALUED CARD, AND PROCEEDS 
WITH UNCLE JOHN TO THE EXHIBITION OF FAT CATTLE. 

Albeit Uncle John had come to London expressly to go at once to 
head-quarters, with a view to the discovery of Goodman ; he was in 
Town more than a month before he managed to find time to take even 
the preliminary step. He had formed highly laudable resolutions every 
evening, with a species of regularity which was really of itself truly 
striking; but every morning with precisely corresponding regularity 
there had arisen fresh temptations sufficiently powerful to set those 
highly laudable resolutions at defiance. ^' I never saw such a place as 
this London/' he would observe ; '* upon my life I don't appear to have 
time to do a thing : I keep going on and on in a perpetual state of 
fever, driving here, there, and everywhere, racing and chasing, and 
bobbing in and out, and really seem to do nothing after all. 1 can't 
understand it. It*s a mystery to me. The place seems to have been 
designed expressly to worry men to death." And it really is an absolute 
fact that he did feel occasionally very much confused — ^nay it would some- 
times happen that a temporary derangement of his intellects would do- 
velope itself — and hence it will not be deemed in the long run extraor^ 
dinary that every day after dinner he should fall fast a^eep with his 
highly-prized meerschaum in his mouth. 

Now as it is not very generally known, it cannot l)e very incorrect to 
observe that Uncle John was one of those remarkable men who invariably 
make a dead stop in the street when they have an3rthing striking to 
communicate, to look at, or to learn. This practice at hrst annoyed 
Valentine exceedingly, for although his uncle never stopped dead in the 
road, but flew over every crossing with as much of the facility of a 
greyhound as he comfortably could, whether carriages were or were not 
within view; he would frequently do so in the midst of a mortal 
stream, when they who happened to be behind could not avoid running 
forcibly against him. Sometimes a butcher's boy would poke his hat 
off with his tray, and then a heavily laden porter would send him stag- 
gering a dozen yards or so, and then a carpenter shouting politely ^' by'r 
leave,*' would cut a piece out of his coat with the end of a saw, which 
invariably disdains to be wholly smothered in a basket ; but even these 
natural results failed to cure him of the practice : he would adhere to 
it in spite of them ; but certainly the most remarkable stop he ever 
made was precisely at the bottom of Holbom Hill. 

^* Now there's a place !" said he on that memorable occasion. '' Did 
you ever ? How people can biilathe in such holes puzzles me I Let's 
go and have a look at them ; come ; I dare say the poor creatures are 
all fit to drop; pale, emaciated, spiritless, and wretched. Shall we 

gor 

'* Oh ! with all my heart," said Valentine ; and they entered the 
hole which bore the semblance of a great commercial alley, the ancient 

p p 



290 LIFE AND ADTENTCRES OF 

houses on either side of which seemed as if they had been striving for a 
century at least to lean against their neighbours opposite for support, 
and had still a trembling hope of accomplishing that object before their 
tottering frames had quite crumbled into dust. Instead of being spirit- 
less and wretched, however, the inhabitants were all life and jollity — 
laughing, singing, joking, and chatting as gaily as if they had been in 
the fiel<b of Elysium. Some were vending old shoes, some fried fish, 
and some tenth or eleventh-hand garments ; but the real aristocracy of 
the place were those who exhibited an infinite variety of handkerchief 
pinned upon sticks, and so arranged that each windowless shop formed 
a most attractive picture. Into these shops from time to time sundry 
young gentlemen darted, and taking off their hats as became them, pro- 
duced from the interior in some cases three and in some half-a-dozen 
bandannas which they seemed to have been fortunate enough to pick 
up in the street just before. 

'^ Can't I sell you one to-day ?*' said a blaok-eyed Jewess, whose 
tightly twisted ringlets, like well tarred cords, lashed her bosom. '' I 
should like to deal with you," she continued, addressing Uncle John 
with a perfectly heart-winning smile. 

'' They don't appear to me to be new," observed that really unsophis- 
ticated gentleman. 

The Jewess turned her black eyes frdl upon him, and seemed in an 
instant to have road the whole history of the man. '^ I think we can 
do a little business together,'* she observed. ^^ Just step inside here, 
There*s no harm done, you know : I have something particular to show 
you." 

*'*' Uncle John looked at Valentine as if he did not understand it 
exactly ; but as Valentine who did understand it but smiled. Uncle John 
at once followed the fascinating Jewess, who proceeded at once to a dmwer, 
and producing a bundle, said, '^ Now I've something here that 11 do 
your eyes a world of good to look at." 

** The bundle was opened, and the first thing which struck Undo 
John was the handkerchief he lost in Cheapside while looking at the 
Lord Mayor's pageant. '' Why," said he, '' what's this 7 Why that's 
mine !" 

" That's what every gentleman sajrs when he sees a hankeoher at 
all like his'n," replied the Jewess. 

^^ But how did you come by it ?" enquired Uncle John. 

^* Oh, I took it in the regular way of business, of course." 

^' But it's mine," exclaimed Uncle John. 

'< Now what a mistake that is when its mine,* said the Jewess. 
^^ But how do you know it ever did belong to yon ? Do yon think 
they never make two hankeohers alike ?" 

^^ ril soon convince you : mine are all marked," said Unde John ; 
and while he looked at each comer with very great minuteness, the 
Jewess smiled, and eventually asked him if he were satisfied. 

*' No, I am not," said he ; *' I am not by any means. Although I 
can't find the mark, I still believe it to be mine." And as he looked 
round, it absolutely struck him that the whole of those handkeichiefe 



VALENTINE VOX. 291 

which then met his view had been stolen!— an extraordinary idea, 
which at that moment made him so indignant, that he prepared to 
leave the shop. 

^* But come, we can deal for all that,'' said the Jewess. ^' Here take 
it for three-and-six, and say you've got a good bargain." 

" What, compound a felony!" exclaimed Uncle John. 

" Well, here take it for three," said the Jewess, " and I shan't get a 
ha'penny by you." 

Uncle John looked remarkably fierce, and said very severely, ^ It's 
my firm belief that these things yon have here were not honestly come 
by," and having pointedly dehvered himself to this efiect, he turned his 
back upon the Jewess, who was laughing very loudly, and quitted the 
shop. " It is really my opinion," he continued, addressing Valentine^ 
'Uhat the whole of those things have been stolen." 

" Why, of course. That is well understood." 

*^ Indeed !" cried Uncle John, and as he stopped short to wonder 
that things which were well understood to have been stolen, should be 
nnblushingly exposed in open day, the attention of Valentine was fixed 
upon a jacket which hung at an old clothes shop opposite. ** It must 
be the same," thought he, '' surely ! — but then there's no chance of the 
card being in it." 

** Any things in ma vay to-day ?" said a Jew who had been watching 
his countenance. " Any things to puy or to shell ?" 

** Let me look at that jacket," said Valentine. 

** What are you about V cried Uncle John. 

**' 1 merely vdsh to see that jacket." 

**What, are you going to set up on your own account Val, as a barber ?" 

Uncle John smiled and felt much amused; but Valentine smiled 
not at all : he took the jacket with great eagerness from the hands 
of the Jew, and searched the pockets. They were empty! His 
hopes were again blasted. He searched them again, and again ; and 
at length found — a hole ! He revived. The card might have worked 
its way through it. He extended his search zealously between the 
striped materiid and the lining, and eventually in the comer he felt 
something closely doubled up. He drew it forth : it tixu the card of 
him whom he had rescued ! — the father of her in whom his dearest 
hopes had been centred. He saw the name of Raven distinctly: 
he could also make out the greater part of the address. At that mo- 
ment how pure was his happiness ! He felt so delighted, so joyous ! 
Uncle John looked amazed, and the Jew, whose fiist impression was 
that the card was at the very least a fifty pound note, looked quite as 
much amazed as Uncle John. 

** What is the price of this Jacket ?" enquired Valentine. 

"Vy," said the Jew, "it shan't be tear at a crown. The card 
sheems to pe vorth arl the moneesh." 

" I wan't but the card," said Valentine, giving the sum donanded. 
'* III make you a present of the jacket." 

" Nothing elsh in ma vay ?" said the Jew who felt very much dis- 
satisfied with himself for having asked so small a sum. 



292 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

" No, nothing," replied Valentine. '" Nothing/' and he hunied his 
uncle out of the lane as soon as possible. 

^' Now what's all this — what's all this business ?* demanded Uncle 
John, having made a dead stop at the comer. 

" I am happy," cried Valentine, " perfectly happy," and he entered 
at once into a minute explanation of the circumstances connected with 
the miich valued card. 

" Well, and what do you want to see the girl again for ?*' enquired 
Uncle John. " You can do nothing more for her now." 

^' But she wished me to call," observed Valentine ; ^' and so did her 
father, and therefore I must, as a matter of mere courtesy." 

"Courtesy! Fiddlesticks!" rejoined Uncle John. "It's my 
opinion that you'd not be so anxious about the business if it were but 
a matter of mere courtesy. Did you ever see the girl before ?" 

"No, never!" 

" Tlien its my firm belief that you had better not see her again. 
You'll only make a fool of yourself. I don't at all like these romantic 
afiairs — ^they never come to any good. It was all very well for you to 
save a fellow-creature. I admire your spirit and your motive ; but, 
take my advice, and don't go." 

" But she is so sweet a girl," observed Valentine. 

" Sweet ! pooh ! so they are all : I never heard of a girl being saved 
who was not. Besides, how do you know who she is, or what she is? 
that's the point." 

'' I don't know — of course I can't tell. I am hence the more anxi- 
ous to ascertain." 

" Well, I know how it will be — I see it all plain enough. But you 
can't go to-day, that's quite clear." 

" But, why can I not ? " 

" What ! have you forgotten that this is the last day of the cattle 
show ? I wouldn't miss that for fifty pounds." 

" But it surely is not necessary for me to go with you ? " 

" Not necessary ! How do you think it possible for me to find my 
way about in this wilderness alone ? Besides, I may be run over. A 
thousand things may occur. How can you or I, or any body, tell what 
may happen ! 

Of course Valentine could not pretend to any knowledge of what 
might occur ; but he nevertheless vdshed the fat cattle were drowned 
in the Dead Sea. He had, however, one great consolation — ^he had 
recovered the card ; and as they rode towards the place at which the 
cattle were exhibited, he felt twenty times to ascertain if it were secure, 
and eventually determined to wait, with all the patience at his com- 
mand, till the following morning. 

" Now," said Uncle John, on arriving at the place of exhibition, " I 
expect to have a treat, Val, — a glorious treat ! " and having entered, 
they found the place crowded with all sorts of people, from the noble- 
man down to the butclier's boy without a hat. 

To the pigs on the left Uncle John first directed his attention. He 
was a great judge of pigs, and there lay the poor animals, grunting and 



VALENTINE VOX. 293 

finoring, and panting, and sqaeaking, while the connoisseurs around 
were engaged in the pleasing occupation of slapping their haunches and 
pinching and twisting their tails, with the ostensible view of ascertain- 
ing how much noise it was possible for them to make. They had, of 
course, been made so fat that their ability to stand was out of the 
question altogether ; yet, although they were all in the finest state of 
corpulency, they looked as uncomfortable as pigs could look by any 
conceivable possibility. 

" Now, there's a pig for you !" observed Uncle John, as he pointed 
to a black lump of flesh, which appeared to be particularly uidiappy. 
" That pig weighs — ^now, what shall I say ? — it weighs above fifty 
score!" 

" You're wrong!" cried Valentine, throwing his voice towards the 
head of the pig ; ^^ 111 bet you a bottle of wine I don't weigh above 
forty ! " 

Uncle John pursed his lips and knit his brows, and then looked at 
the pig's head in a very straightforward manner, and then cocked his 
hat on one side, and scratched his head with great freedom, and felt 
altogether in a confused state of mind, until he turned towards Valen- 
tine, who happened to be smiling, when he saw in the twinkling of an 
eye what it was, and cried, lifting his stick, ^*' You young dog 1 there ! 
if I didn't think that pig spoke, I'm not here !" and Uncle John roared 
with laughter. " What a fool !" he continued. " The idea of a pig 
offering to bet a bottle of wine he didn't weigh forty score !" and 
again iFncle John burst out very merrily, until at length, screwing his 
countenance to a very solemn pitch, he gravely added, ^^ But he weighs 
fifty score for all that." 

Well, they now left the pigs, and went at once to the other side, 
where the first class oxen were arranged, with backs as broad as those 
of full-sized elephants, and withal so remarkably flat, that had they 
happened to have rolled upon those backs, they would have stood no 
more chance of getting up again, without mortal aid, than a turtle, on 
being placed in a corresponding predicament. And they appeared to be 
perfectly cognisant of this, for whenever nature called upon the beasts 
to lie down, they obeyed her call as cautiously as Christians. 

^' What is the use," enquired Valentine, '^ of fattening these creatures 
up to such an extent?" 

" The use !" cried Uncle John, — " the use ! Why, the use of it is 
to see how fat they can be made." 

^' But what is the use of seeing how fat they can be made ?" 

'^ Why, of course, to ascertain which kind of cattle will fatten, and 
which kind will not." 

^^ Is that the only good accomplished ?" 

^^ The only good !" exclaimed Uncle John. *' Is not that good 
enough ? What would be the use of throwing away a lot of fodder 
upon cattle that won't fatten at all?" 

^^ There is," said Valentine, as gravely as possible, ^' a society in this 
wilderness, as you are pleased to term it, for the prevention of cruelty 
to animals. Now the officers of that society, I think, ought to take 



294 LIFE AND ADTENTURES OF 

Special cognisance of this exhibition, for in my view there cannot be s 
species of cruelty more refined than that of fattening animals up to a 
state in which they are compelled to gasp at least a hundred and twenty 
times per minute. Just notice those poor distressed creatures, how 
they pant! Can any man believe that they are not in great pain? 
Suppose, for instance, that you and I were in the power of grasners 
who felt disposed to experimentalise upon us ; what a sweet state of 
mind we should be in if they succeeded in making us in proportion as 
fiftt as those beasts." 

^^ The grazier who oould succeed, Val, in making you fat, would 
deserve a gold medal, thickly studded with precious stones. But we 
are men, and they are beasts ; that makes all the difierenoe. The cases 
are therefore by no means analogous.'^ 

Valentine did not suppose that they were; but he conceived that 
Uncle John might have oeen brought to explain more distinctly why 
beasts were thus fattened to an extent which rendered their existence a 
burden, and hence, following the example of Uncle John with the pig, 
adhered firmly to his first position, that the Society for the Prevention 
of Cruelty to Animals were bound to interfere. 

Now it really was interesting to observe how the farmers and the 
butchers felt the various popular parts of the animals as they stood ; but 
more interesting still was it to notice how the far more fashionably- 
dressed individuals, having stolen a few lessons from the butchers and the 
farmers, felt precisely the same parts of those animals, and looked quite 
as learned as the butchers and the farmers themselves. One individual, 
an external pink of the purest water, made himself particularly con- 
spicuous in this way ; first performing the operation of nipping the 
animals, and then giving his judgment upon each to two ladies, who 
were of his party, with infinite eloquence and point. Valentine was 
highly amused by this exquisite pretender : he felt his proceedings to 
be ridiculous in the extreme, and therefore watched him very narrowly 
until he reached the ox which had gained the first prize, and which he 
began to feel, of course, with consummate dexterity. 

** Now, dim*t pinch !'' cried Valentine, throwing his voice towards 
the mouth of the ox, which, as if to complete the illusion, at that mo- 
ment turned its head round, ** it's of no use ! — ^you don't understand it !" 

The exquisite started back greatly confused, while the ladies were 
excessively alarmed at the announcement. 

'* Well, dang my boottons ! " cried a countryman, " if ever I heerd 
tell o' the like o' that !" 

It is very extraordinary,'* suggested the exquisite. 
Stromary ! I never come across such a thing afore in all my boom 
days. That's woot he goot the prize for, dang me, I shoodn't wonder, 
I'll be bound to say — no doot." 

Uncle John oould keep silent no longer. He burst into a roar, which 
80 powerfully convulsed him, that be felt liimself bound to hold on by 
the tail of the next ox. 

This seemed to awaken the suspicions of the pink. He could not, 
it b true, understand it exactly ; but he was satisfied that the animal 



4C 



r i 

r T 







YALENTTNE VOX. 295 

had spoken by no means. His courage therefore returned, and being 
positively brave, he placed his hand upon the animal again. 

" Don't ! there's a good fellow I— pray don't ! " said Valentine, throw- 
ing his voice as before. ^' You've no idea how sore I am round about 
the tail." 

And this doubtless was precisely what the animal would have said, 
if it could in reality have spoken ; for as be had been at the exhibi- 
tion some days, his most popular points, that is, being interpreted, 
those points which true judges invariably assail, must have been ex- 
tremely tender ; but whether these were the words which the animal 
would in such an event have uttered, or not, it is perfectly certain that 
they had the effect not only of inducing the exquisite to withdraw 
his hand on the instant, but of inspiring those aionnd him with 
wonder. 

'* Here^ Bill ! " cried a butcher, addressing his friend, ^' p^raps this 
aint a rum start ! sen I may live if this box cam*t talk reg'lar.'' 

^^'Do vot?'* cried the gentleman to whom this importuit com- 
munication had been addressed. 

^^ Vy, talk like a brick, and as regular as a Christian.*' 

"Yes— -over!" said his friend, with an expression of incredulity. 

"But I tell yer I heered him — so there cam't be no mistake." 

"VotI do you mean to go for to think that you'll gammon me 
mto that ere?" 

^' Veil arks these ere genelmen !— don't believe me arout you like ! — 
they all heered him." And the batcher proceeded to aocumidate such 
collateral evidence as he felt must* establish the thing to the entire sa- 
tisfaction of his incredulous friend; but as Uncle John still roared 
with laughter, and kept holding on by the tail of the next ox with such 
unexampled firmness that the animal must have felt that the design was 
to puU out that ornament by the root, it was deemed right by Valentine 
— just as the butchdr was eloquently entering into the details of the 
affair — to leave the interesting group t6 solve that which of course was 
regarded as a mystery by all. 

It was, however, by no means the work of a moment to release the 
ox's tul from the grasp of Uncle John. The poor animal stood the 
tugging with really exemplary patience; and being too fat to kick, 
looked round simply, as if anxious for a brief explanation of the circum- 
stances connected therewith ; but he clearly must have felt that if an 
assault of such a character had been made before he was fattened* the 
assailant would have had his reward. 

By dint of great exertion on the part of Valentine, however. Uncle 
John was eventually severed from the tail ; but before they had reached 
the place in which the sixth and seventh classes were exhibited, loud 
cries of " A bull ! a bull ! a bull broke loose !" were heard, and an 
awful rush was made towards the pigs. Some terror-stricken gentle- 
men leaped with due agility upon the broad flat backs of the cattle, 
others mounted the frames near the horns of the beasts, which those 
beasts were by no means inclined to submit to, and hence used the 
weapons with which nature had provided them, with no inconsiderable 



206 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

force and effect ; but by far the greater portion of the alarmed con- 
noisseurs rushed with all discreet haste towards the entrance with 
countenances strongly expressive of the most lively apprehensions, while 
the females were screaming, and the male alarmists shouting ^' A pole 
axe ! — a pole axe there ! — ^let him be killed !" 

As soon as the place from which the terrorists had so unceremoniously 
decamped became clear, Uncle John, who had slipped with suipaasing 
dexterity behind an ox, followed Valentine in, and beyond all dispute 
there was a short-homed heifer endeavouring with all the zeal and in- 
genuity of which she was capable to slip the halter oyer her head, 
having evidently been pinched until her popular points had become so 
sore that she had made up her mind to endure it no longer. Two la- 
bourers however most bravely approached and effectually frustrated her 
ladyship's design, — a striking fact which was duly and promptly an- 
nounced, and as the alarmists were returning with appropriate caution. 
Uncle John ascertained that it v^as time for him to start, when he and 
Valentine left the exhibition highly pleased vdth the varied entertain- 
ment it had afforded. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 



THE MUTUAL RECOGNITION AND THE INTERVIEW — THE POLITE IN- 
VITATION, AND THE DINNER. 

It may, as a general thing, be stated that men spend their most 
miserable hours in bed, when they are anxious to go to sleep and 
cannot. They turn and turn, and with every turn thoughts of a most 
uncomfortable character are engendered ; yet although they pray heartily 
and fervently for the morning, their heads really seem to be sealed to 
their pillows, when that whidi they prayed for arrives. Such, however, 
was not the case with Valentine. It is true he turned over and over 
continually throughout the night, but his thoughts were of the most 
pleasing character, being of her ^whom he felt that he loved : it is 
also true that he wished for the morning, but when it arrived instead 
of finding him apparently sealed to the pillow, it found him knocking 
violently at Uncle John's door, and exerting all the powers of suasion 
at his command to induce him to get up at once. He really marvelled 
that men should lie in bed so long. It was then eight o'clock, and al- 
though his own time had been heretofore nine, it then struck him as 
extraordinary that it had not been seven, and having eventually ex- 
torted a promise from Uncle John that he would rise on the instant, ho 
returned to his own room to dress. 

Now, it has been said that all is vanity ; and if vanity be thus con- 
tradistinguished from pride, that whereas pride prompts us to esteem 
ourselves highly, vanity stimulates us to win the esteem of others — ^it 
is quite clear that vanity is not a bad passion, but on the contrary one 



VALBNTINB VOX. 297 

which ought fondly to be cherished. But it has also been said, and 
that too hj an ancient philosopher, that man is too proud to be vain, 
and if he be, it is abundantly- manifest that vanity is not quite so 
general a thing ; but assuming this to be wrong, that is to say, assuming 
that men are in reality vain, and that vain men are in the abstract es- 
sentially wicked, it still appears to be quite consistent with reason to 
contend that if there be a time at which the development of vanity is 
venial, it is that at which men are about to see those whom they love, 
and by whom they therefore hope to be loved in return. They are 
then the most anxious to win the esteem of others ; and if this be the 
true definition of vanity, it follows that Valentine himself was most 
vain on the memorable morning in question. He was never so long 
dressing before. He was indeed so extremely particular that he even 
astonished himself; but eventually, conceiving that Uncle John must be 
out of patience, he gave a last long lingering look at the glass, and went 
down into the parlour. Uncle John was not there. He too must have 
been more than usually particular that morning; for in general he was 
dressed and down in less than five minutes. Well, Valentine waited : 
he waited ten minutes^ and thought that sufficiently horrible; but 
when he had waited a quarter of an hour, he darted at once up to 
Uncle John's room, and knocked as if the house had been in 
flames. 

^' Aye, aye," cried Uncle John, whom* the knocking had awakened 
from a dream which had reference to some astonishing turnips which 
he had seen at the show the day before, and immediately after he had 
said " Aye, aye,^' he gave a very, very long cosey yawn. 

*^ What, are you not up yet V cried Valentine. 

Uncle John instantly rolled out of bed and cried ^^ Up ! yes, of 
course I" which of course was the Ukd, " 111 be down in five minutes," 
he added with truly remarkable presence of mind, and within the five 
minutes he was down. 

^ What a time you have been !" observed Valentine, seating himself 
at the table. 

^^ I've been dreaming," returned Uncle John, " of those turnips. I 
thought that you un&rtook to swallow one m and thirty inches in 
circumference whole." 

" And did I do it ?" 

^* To the utter astonishment of all beholders it slipped clean down 
like a pill." 

'' It must have appeared that I possessed a most extraordinary 
swallow ; but do you think of going out this morning at all ?" 

^' Why no, my boy, really i don t think I can. This racing about 
day after day knocks me up altogether." 

^^ Then I'll return as soon as possible. I shall not be gone long." 

*' Gone? Why where are you going ?" 

*^ To call on those persons I named to you yesterday. Don't you 
remember ?" 

Uncle John it was clear had forgotten all about it ; but he now re- 
collected the circumstance and shook his head gravdy. '^ I know," 

QQ 



298 LIFB AND ADTBNTURBB OF 

said he, " that if I endeavouT to penuade you to keep away finmi tliat 
girl, you will be the more anxious to go ; that is perfectly dear. I shall 
therefore say no more about it. You are at liberty to go, sir, but 
remember, if you associate yourself with any creature who can be 
picked up on board a steam-packet, I disown you — at once, sir, I dis- 
own you." 

*' Uncle !" said Valentine, in a tone of remonstrance, *^ can yon 
suppose — " 

'^ I'll hear nothing more about it,'* interrupted Uncle John, *^ I see 
clearly how it will be. You'll make a fool of yourself, sir ! — ^but go by 
all means, and if you are not back in less than two hours, I shall go out 
without you. I can't live in this hole of London without a litue ex- 
ercise ; no man can do it. Therefore^ two hours, mark ! I'll not wait 
another moment." 

It will hence be perceived that Uncle John was rather angry ; bat 
he notwithstanding shook hands with Valentine, and explained before 
he left that as he had great confidence in his judgement and discretion, 
he felt sure that he would commit no act of foUy that would shake it. 

The concluding observation he deemed highly politic. *^ Suspicion,** 
thought he, '* is the parent of the thing we suspect ; but let any one 
feel that fiiU confidence is reposed in him and he will think and think 
a long time before he betrays it." 

Without hearing anothw discouraging word, therefore, Valentine 
started for Bryanrtone-square, but on ms wbj felt as if within the 
hour he should know if the germ of his life's happiness would strike 
root or wither. He had never before conceived it to be possible for 
the slightest imperfection to characterise her in whom his hopes were 
concentered. His impression had been that he had but to see her 
again to be happy. Uncle John had placed his thoughts in a doubting 
direction : yet where the grounds were that could justify doubt, really 
Valentine could not conceive. ^^ If she be not," thought he, *^ what 1 
feel that Ae is, why — ^why then must I strive to foivet her : but 111 
not do her the injustice to suppose that she is not. I feel convinced 
that I am not mistaken." And with this convictioa firmly impressed upon 
his mind, he readied the house. 

Itwas a larffB one ! rather awfully large : he could not help feeling that 
he should have liked it somewhat better, had it been a little smaller 1 — ^he 
had had no idea of its being sudi a size I It could not be the right one ! 
He must have made a mistake, either in the name of the square, or in 
the number I He passed it, and drew forth the card. No ! — all was* 
correct I ^' Surdy," thought he, <^ this must be the game card V And 
he leaUy bmm to feel not quite sure even of that ; but in order to put 
an end to aJl doubt on the subject, he went to the door and knocked 
boldly — ^albeit, there was somethmg in the sound of the knocker a little 
too aristocratic. 

^' Mr. Raven," said he, when the door had been opened, in a tone 
more than usually dedded and severe. 

^* Not at home, dr," replied the servant, whose Uray was of the 
gayest description. 



VALENTINE TOX. 299 

^^ What time is he nsoally at home V enquired Valentiiie, drawing 
forth his card-case. 

*^ About this time, sir, generally," said the servant. ^^ He is seldom 
out before one or two." 

Valentine having left his card, thereupon turned from the door; but 
his eye was at the moment attracted by one who had darted to the 
window, and who recognised him instantly ! What was to be done ? 
The recognition veas mutual ; yet ought he-Hshe bowed to him ! — that 
was sufficient : he returned : the door had not been closed ; but before 
he had time to say a syllable to the servant, an angel, in the perfect si- 
militude of her wh(»n he had saved, seized his hand, and led him into 
the room. 

^^ I am so glad to see you !" she exclaimed. '^ Indeed I scarcely can 
tell how delighted I am !" — and she led him to a seat, and sat very, 
very near him ; and they gazed upon each other, and looked very pale, 
and felt really very awkward and stupid. 

Valentine could not get over it at all !— -but he had always been a 
fool in the presence of ladies. He would have met Satan himself, in 
tlie shape of a man, wiUiout a nerve being fluttered ; but if one of his' 
majesty's most minute imps had appeared in the semblance of a woman, 
that imp would in limine have b^ten him hollow. 

It will not, therefore, by any means be deemed very extraordinary, 
that the lady, in this instance, should have been the first to recover : in 
hdy the recovery of Valentine was rather remote^ when she exclaimed, 
^^ Oh, how I do wish that papa would return ! He would, indeed, be 
so happy to see you. He has been talking about you every day since ; 
and we did so wonder you had not called — there he is !" she continued, 
starting up, as a knock came to the door. And it really was a most 
undeniable knock. It vvas like the commencement of the overture to 
Semiramide. She therefore could not by any possible chance have 
been mistaken. It seemed, too, as if the servant knew something of the 
tune ; for the last bar had scarcely been executed, when he flew across 
the hall, with an apparently just and well-groimded apprehension of 
an immediate encore. 

Valentine now heard the voice of authority, which was also the 
voice of Mr. Baven ; and as his daughter glided gracefully to meet 
him in the hall, he cried, ^^Well, Louise ! — an^hing turned up 

fresh r 

** This is the gentleman, papa, who preserved us," said Louise, as he 
entered the room. 

*' Ah ! my brave fellow 1" exclaimed Mr. Baven. '' How are you ? 
Glad to see you — ^very glad — right glad !— God bless you ! — But why 
have you not been before V* 

Valentine— whom the presence of Mr. Raven had relieved from all 
embarrassment — ^now explained all the circumstances connected with 
the card ; and as he dwelt vrith considerable emphasis and eloquence 
upon his anxiety to regain it, and the pleasure its recovery had induced, 
Louise watched his countenance with the earnestness of love; and 
every word, every tone, sank deq> into her heart. 



300 LIFE AlTD ADTSNTURES OP 

*^ God blesB you ! — God bless you !" excbiimed Mr. Raven, and some- 
thing like a tear stood in his eye as he spoke ; and he shook the hand 
of Valentine again very warmly, as he added, *' You don't know — you 
can't know — how atunotu we have been to see you 1 But come, come ! 
— you'll dine with us to-day, as a matter of course V 

" I should be happy — ^most happy — ^but my uncle is in town," ob- 
served Valentine. 

" Well, bring your uncle with you, of course !" said Mr. Rai^eo. 
^^ Give my compliments, and tell him I shall be happy to see him to 
take pot-luck. I'll send my carriage for him at five." 

" Pot-luck !" thought Valentine — " that's very extraordinary." He 
had heard of pot-luck before, certainly ; but never in immediate connec- 
tion with a carriage. However, he&ncied that all this would tend to as- 
tonish the nerves of Uncle John ; and therefore having acknowledged 
the politeness of Mr. Raven, he rose and took leave, as the bell rang a 
peal that would have inspired a whole village with spirit. 

" WeU, what think you now, Val ?— What think you now T said he, 
addressing himself in the second person singular, the moment he had 
'left the house. ^^ She is indeed veiy beautiful — very ! But what sort 
of people can they be ? She is elegant in her mannen — very ladylike 
indeed — ^but her fiither is clearly not very refined ; and yet what a su- 
perb style they live in I He must be some one of importance — ^yet I 
cannot remember to have heard the name associated with distinction ! 
He was puzded — greatly pu2zled. He conceived that Mr. Raven had 
scarcely the manners of a gentleman, and certainly not those of an aris- 
tocrat ! Still he found it hard to associate vulgarity with the style in 
which he lived. What he had been, or what he could be, therefore, 
Valentine was unable to conceive. It was a mystery altogether ; and 
one in which he continued to be so mentally involved, that he had 
reached home before he even thought that he was near. 

" Well, my boy," said Uncle John, who as Valentine entered was 
sitting with lus heds upon the mantel-piece ; ^^ well, have you seen 
herr 

" I have," replied Valentine. 

^' Ah ! she's a lovely girl, isn't she ? fascinating, interesting, beau- 
tiful ! eh ?" 

'< She is, indeed !" 

" Of course !" cried Uncle John, " I could have sworn it ! She is 
all that is graceful and elegant, highly, very highly accomplished, with 
a German or perhaps a Grecian nose, and a remarkable couple of beau- 
tiful black eyes of course blazing away like brilliants. That's the gin- 
Is she a milHner ?" 

" No, she lives with her &ther." 

^' Is her father a cobbler, or does he keep a snuff-shop ?" 

'^ I can't make out at all what he is. I am unable to imagine what 
he can be." 

^' He lives by his wits, perhaps; a gambler, or something of thft^ 
sort?" 

^' No, I don't think he is," said Valentine carelessly. 



VALElfTniE VOX. 301 

^* Don't think he is ! Pray, did you see him f 

^^ Oh, yes ; he has invited you and me to go and take pot-luck i^vith 
him." 

^^ Pot-luck !" said Uncle John; '^ I expect it would indeed be pot- 
luck, and very poor pot-luck too. What is he going to have, Val, 
pickled pork and cabbage V 

" I don*t at all know what he'll give us; but of course you'll go?" 

"Go,— I go? Decidedly not." 

" But his carriage will be here for you at five. " 

" His what !" cried Uncle John ; '^ his carriage !" The idea struck 
him as being so amusing and so good, that he laughed very heartily ; 
he really could not help it. " What sort of a carriage is it, Yal ?" he 
enquired, " what sort of a carriage, my boy V* 

*^ Upon my life," replied Valentine, '^ I don't know what colour it 
is, never having seen it ; but if it conesponds at all with the liveries, 
and I dare say it does, it's a dasher V 

Uncle John looked at Valentine earnestly. He thought there was 
something in it— certainly he did go so far as to think that; but then 
he really could not go one single step fJEurther. *^ Now," said he, " i$ 
this one of your jokes ? Because if it is, you had better tell me, that 
I may know how to act. Is it, or is it not, a joke V 

" Upon my honour," sud VaJentine, " no." And to the utter as- 
tonishment of Undo John, he explained all the circumstances just as 
they occurred. 

" Why, what an extraordinary piece of busmess to be sure !" said 
Unde John, with an expression of amazement. " But I'll go ! — oh ! 
Ill go ! although I'm sure to make a fool of myself. I'm sure of it ! 
/ know nothing of.aristocratic etiquette, which changes, I'm told, about 
twenty times a month. It may, for example, be the feshion to take 
soup with a fork, and I'm just as likely as not, you see, to catch up a 
spoon." 

" Oh, you'll be able to manage it very well. Besides, these are not 
very, very aristocratic people." 

" I don't know so much about that," sidd Unde John, — " you can't 
judge. Sometimes that which is in others deemed the essence of vul- 
garity, is in them held to be the very acme of refinement. They do 
it, I suppose, to show off their independence — ^to prove that they can 
do that which, but for them, others would never dare attempt. I 
recollect that, at our last election dinner, we had Lord George Rattle, 
who is considered, of course, the veiy perfection of refinement, and 
every eye was, in consequence, upon him. Well — he cocked the knife 
in his mouth, and took the win^ of a fowl in his fingers, and placed his 
elbows upon the table, and picked his teeth violently. Why, such 
proceedings had been considered by all rather unparliamentary, if not 
mdeed vmgar in the extreme : but then, what was the consequence ? 
Why, at the next public dinner we had, lliere was scarcely a fork used ; 
the flesh of the chickens was gnawed off the bones, and while almost 
CYery man placed his elbows upon the table, there was really such a 
• picking of teeth, you would have thought that all the crickets in all 



302 LIFB AND APTBNTURBS OF 

the bake-houses in the empire had assembled in honour of the occasion. 
But 111 go !— of course, that I have made up my mind to." And he 
commenc^ at once bustling about, with the view of making himself as 
tidj as possible. 

Well, five o'clock came, and a carriage rattled up to the docnr. Unde 
John ran to the window, and was amazed ! It was one of the very 
gayest he had seen, not excepting even that of the under-sheriff. The 
widow Smugman was struck almost dumb ! she could scarcely axmounoe 
its arrival. 

^'Are you ready?" said Valentine, addressing Uncle John, who 
really felt fidgetty himself at the moment. 

^ Yes, quite ready— -quite," was the hasty reply, and they descend- 
ed, of course with due dignity of aspect, and entered the carriage 
forthwith. 

** I don't think that fellow could look at a man," said Uncle John, 
as the carriage drove off, ^' without touching his hat. It comes, how- 
ever, natural to him, I suppose. A little less of it, perhaps, would be 
as well. But what will Uie widow think of a canriage like this, lined 
with rose-pink satin, driving up to her door ! Why, slie'U be about as 
proud of it as if it were her own ! Did you see how astonished 
she looked? Upon my life, she must suppose that we are highly 
connected." 

And it really was an elegant carriage ; but then no man oonld see it 
without feeling sure that display was the hobby of its owner. The 
horses, too, were of the most^showy character, and, as they seemed to 
be unable to go at a less rapid rate than that of ten miles an hour, they 
of course very soon reached the house, before which they stopped 
almost as instantaneously as if the pole had been absolutely driven 
against an unyielding stone wall. 

^^ They muat have gone upon their haunches. I don't mysdf see 

how they could ." At this moment Uncle John was interrupted 

by an unexampled knock at tlie door, which was instantly opened, 
when he and Valentine alighted with all the dignity of which they 
were capable, and were shown at once into a magnificent drawing- 
room, in which the really-beautiful Louise and her father received them 
vrith great cordiality and warmth. 

Louise looked more bvely than ever; and as Valentine was com- 
paratively free from embarrassment, he certainly did appear to great 
advantage himself. This imparted mutual pleasure, and they chatted 
very freely and with infinite gaiety, while Uncle John was made to 
feel just as much at home as if he had known Mr. Baven for years. 

This was pleasant — ^they all felt it to be pleasant ; and when dinner 
was announced, Mr. Baven looked at Valentine, as he bowed, and 
waved his hand towards Louise, and then seizing the arm of Unde 
John, observed, ** We two old fogies will go down togetha'," an obser- 
vation which was certainly remarkable in itself. 

Now the first thing which struck Uncle John, as he entered tiie 
dining-room, was the plate. It was really of the most massive and 
gorgeous description, and displayed in such style, and moreover in such 



I' 



* 



t 



'1 



\ 




? ) 



TALENTINE VOX. 303 

extraoidmary qnantitiea, that he could not but think that Mr. Raven 
must poneas the wealth of Croesus. 

Tliere was, however, one thing which, in Uncle John's judgment, 
spoilt all ; and that was the restless anxiety of Mr. Raven to inspire 
him with the belief that he was totally unprepared to receive him. *' I 
beg that you will excuse us to-^day," he would observe : then, ^* You see 
we are quite in the rough ;" then, ^^ I*m afraid you'll not be able to 
make a dinner^' — then, **• You see we have only a snack ; as, of course, 
we didn't expect to have the pleasure of your company." And these 
apologies were so constantly reiterated, that Uncle John — ^who had 
never in his life sat down to a more sumptuous dinner — was heartily 
filad when it was over, for he didn't like to say, '* Oh, don't mention 
it ;" or " I beg that you'll not apolo^ae"*— or ** Really it will do very 
well ;" or indeed anything of that sort, because he felt that that would 
not convey quite enough : nor did he like to say, *^ Upon my life, I 
never sat down to a more splendid dinner," because he felt that that 
fniffkt convey a little too much 1— he therefore said nothing, in reply 
to those apologies ; but laboured to put down the nuisance, by bowing. 

Of course Valentine could not help noticing this ; but he was then &r 
too deeply engaged with Louise, to think much about the motive which 
prompted the annojrance. It was perfectly manifest that he was not 
annojred. On the contiary, he had never felt so happy before : nor,*'in- 
deed, had Louise. Thev were really delighted with each other : and 
their eyes ! — It will probably be useless to say how they looked ; but 
tiiat they met as if the two pair had been under the absolute guidance 
of one soul, is quite certain. 

Mr. Raven, immediately after dinner, commenced drinking ynth 
great fireedom ; and this had the effect of causing him gradually to 
throw off that sort of restnunt, which his wealth and the style in 
which he lived had imposed. He became very communicative indeed, 
and v^y joyous, when Valentine, who had taken spedal care of hb own 
fiicuhies, cUscovered the real character of the man. 

^^ Come, come ! you don't drink f cried Mr. Raven, slapping Undo 
John heartily upon the shoulder. ^* Come I never mind the young un's 
— cleave them to themselves, while we too old codgers enjoy ourselves, 
eh ? You're just the sort of fellow I like ! None of your stiff, upstart 
penniless men in buckram, for me ! You're just the man after my own 
heart ! so let's both be jolly, eh ? let's both be jolly !" 

Uncle John had no objection. 

*^ Bui," continued Mr. Raven, with truly awful solemnity, ^^ I feel 
that I have one great duty to perform. Louise, my girl, fill up a bumper — 
a bumper, my girl, for this toast I I rise," he continued, very slowly and 
very emphatically, ^* I rise to propose the health of one to whose brave 
and noble nature we — ^I and my girl-— owe our present existence. That 
young man,'' he added, pointing to Valentine and looking at Uncle John, 
^^ saved my life, he saved the life of my child ! — God bless him !" Here 
Valentine rose to take the hand extended towards him, the owner of 
which was for some time unable to proceed. *^ I can't," he at length 
added, ^give expression to my fedings, my feelings won't let roe ; 
but if ever I forget him, may I be forgotten ! If ever I cease to be 



304 LIFE AlfD ADTENTITRIB OF 

giateful — God bless you !" He could then sfty no mme, bat andcbAdL 
in his chair, and having wiped away the tean which almost blinded 
him, emptied his crlaes and replenished. 

Ilie pride of Uncled John at that interesting moment was quite 
beyond conception. His opinion of Valentine hm previously of course 
been very high ; but at that moment really, in his judfimeot,he was the 
most splendid fellow that ever lived, and in the warmth of his fillings he 
expressed himself precisely to this ejBFect, and Mr. Raven entirely a^eed 
with him, when Valentine acknowledged the toast in a highly appropriate 
speech, and shortly after Louise, though reluctantly, retired. 

*^ There," said Mr. Raven, addressing Uncle John the very moment 
Louise had left the room, '' what do you think of that girl, eti ? — 
what do you think of her for a pawnbroker's daughter ?" 

'< Upon my life," said Uncle John, ^' you ought to be proud of her.** 

'' Proud, sir, I am proud ! Why that girl, when I was in busiDeaB, 
kept the whole of my books, sir ! — what do you think of that ? and 
never made an error of a penny ? Would you believe it ? She wae 
worth to me more than fifty clerks put together. She worked like a 
horse, and now see what she is I" 

*^ She is indeed very elegant," observed Uncle John. 

^^ I believe you !" exclaimed Mr. Raven. ** Talk of your aris- 
tocracy I rd back her against the first lady in the land, altiiough she 
ii but a pawnbroker's daughter." 

'^ You have of course been out of business some 3rear8 V 

^* Five, sir, five years come Christmas. Td a long spell at it, a veiy 
long spell ; but I've done the trick, although I did commence as a poor 
ra^;ed boy V* 

'' Nothing," said Unde John, ^^can be more pleasing than the reflec- 
tions of a man who has been the architect of his own fortune." 

^' Of course not !*' exclaimed Mr. Raven, who was highly delighted. 
^' Of course not. I glory in it. I feel that there's ttie more credit 
due to me, eh ? Why when I began life I hadn't, if you'll believe me^ 
such a thing as a penny in my pocket, nor scarcely a rag to my back, 
yet ^ now what I am ! I began as a boy to run of enands, clean 
knives, shoes and windows, — in short, to make myself generally uselu). 
I did so; and worked my 'way into the shop, and then married the 
governor's daughter and had a share in the business; and then I got it 
all, and now I can buy up one-half of your beggarly aristocracy, and 
be even then a rich man ! * 

^^ It must be a very profitable business," observed Uncle John. 

" Yes, it is — it is profitable : there's no denying that. But people 
make a mistake when they suppose that the profits are chiefly derived 
from the poor. The little sums tell up, no doubt ; but fortunes are 
made by supplying the wants of our proud peacock beggariy aris- 
tocracy ! That is how fortunes are realised ; when you oome to for- 
tunes ! Why I've had in one morning in my little room no less than 
ten ladies of title ! — in one sinele morning, sir ! — What do you think 
of that?" * ^ 

'^ You astonish me 1" excUumed Uncle John : and it really is a fact 



VALENTINE VOX. 305 

that Uncle John was ationiahed. He had never befoce heard of such 
ft thing in his life. 

** Some," continued Mr. Raven, who was now &irly wanned npon 
the subject— ^^ some brought me their cases of jeweb; some wore them 
and took them off before me, while others brought with them the most 
valuable portion of their plate." 

^ But did they go into the shop ?" 

** No I — ^bless your soul, no ; they were somewhat too cunning for 
that. They would come to the private door, and whenever they came 
they were sure to be trembling on the very verge of ruin. Of course 
I understood it ! I knew what it meant. I used to tease them some- 
times — you know— -pretend to be poor — just to hear what they would 
say. It wouldn't do, however, to carry on long, because they'd go 
right dean off into hysterics. I have had them, sir, crying and foint- 
ing, and begging and praying ! ^ Now upon my word,' I used to say, 
* money is very scarce, but how much wiU do for you V * Oh !' they 
would almost aeream — * I must have a hundred pounds, or I'm ruined. 
Ill leave you my jewels, which cost a thousand — ^I must have them 
ajB^n to go to Lady Tontine's ball — and 111 give you for the accommo- 
dation ^irty, forty, fifty, sixty pounds, or anything you like to name. 
— ^Dear, dear, Mr. Raven, do oblige me I' " 

^ I wonder," said Uncle John, ^^ they were not ashamed of them- 
selves." 

** Ashamed I" cried Mr. Raven ; ** your beggarly aristocracy asham- 
ed ! Catch them at it ! Sir, they are ashamed of nothing ! — they've 
got no shame in them. I've seen such scenes, and heard such tales ! — 
the/ve made my hair stand on end, sir, right up on end ! — they have 
almost made me vow that I'd never again put the smallest faith in 
woman ; and I surely never should, but that I knew these tricks were 
confined to our beggarly aristocracy. TheyH do any thing to cheat 
their husbands — any thing in the world ; they gloiy in it — absolutely 
glory in it ! But, r^y, I couldn't help laughing sometimes. There was 

old Lady Lumley— she's dead now ; she died about the year , but 

tiiat's of no consequence— well, she would come, say on a Tuesday, 
bustling into the room, in such a fidget and so out of breath, you'd 
have thought she had not got another moment to live« ^ Well^ Mr. 
Raven,' she would say, ^ I've got into another dreadful scrape, and I 
must have your dear^ kind asswtance ; I lost all my money last night. 
I positively never saw cards go so cross. There really mutt have been 
cheating ; but I'm going to meet the same party to-night, and unless I 
have a hundred pounds now, I shall never be able to recover my loss. 
Ill leave my suite of brilliants : I am sure not to want them till 
Friday ; but I have no doubt at all of being able to call for them to- 
morrow.' Well, I'd lend her the hundred, and after calling me a ^dear 
good creature,' and the rest of it, although if I passed her in the park, 
or elsewhere, she'd turn up her aristocratic nose and woiddn't know 
me; she'd trot off delighted to her carriage, which she invariably left 
at the comer. The next morning she'd call again, not to take away 
her diamonds, but to beg of me to let her have another hundred pounds. 

R R 



BOG LIFE AND ADYBNTURES OF 

She'd have lost the hundred she had the day be£6iei and perhaps two 
or three hundred hesides, which had been given to her by the earl for 
some very special purpose. I'd let her have another hundred, for the 
diamonds were worth three thousand at least; I believe they originally 
cost five ; and the very next morning she'd htteOe in again, — the earl 
had missed them ! They were his first gift, and unless sue could have 
them to wear that night, she would be for ever ruined ! She would 
bring, perhaps, a suite of torquoise, pearls, or any thing else she mi^ht 
happen to have worn the night before to deposit, until she oould brmg 
back the diamonds. And thus she went on — ^and thus they all go on, 
paying in the long-run at least a thousand per cent, for their money ; 
and I've had in my house at one time, sir, jewels, which couldn't have 
cost less than five hundred thousand pounds." 

'' But of course," said Uncle John, ^^ they eventually redeemed them ?*' 

'^ By no means, sir, is it a matter of course — ^by no manner of 
means. They would go on and on, getting deeper and deeper, until 
they could not pay the money advanced, and then of oouise would oome 
another jewel robbery." 

^^ Why, I'm utterly amazed !" cried Uncle John. 

^^ Amazed, sir ! Why, sir, I have known no less than three most 
mysterious jewel robberies to be blazing away in the papers in one 
single week, when the identical jewels have been in my possession. 
Rewards have been offered for the apprehension of the offenders, the 
servants have been searched, the houses have been turned upmde down, 
and the track of the villains distinctly chalked out, while the creatures 
themselves, the very creatures from whose hands I received them, have 
been running about from place to place, to give colour to the thing, 
apparently in a state of i}^e most absolute distraction. Those lovely 
brilliants, those beautiful pearls, those amethysts, Uiose rubies, whidi 
they would not have lost for the world ; their birth-day presents and 
their marriage gifts, were, alas ! all gone, the cold-hearted robbers had 
not left a gem ! These are the tricks, sir — these are the tricks ; and 
this is how fortunes are made— when you oome to speak of fortwim^ 
not by taking in a string of flat-irons for twopence, or lending a 
shilling upon a chemise ! But come, let us sink the diop and talk of 
something else. But you woiddn't have supposed it though, would 
you ?" 

^' I should not, indeed," said Uncle John. ^* Upon my life I could 
scarcely have conceived it to be possible." 

At this moment a servant entered with a communication from 
Louise, which was found to be the prelude to the introduction of oofiee. 
This induced Uncle John at once to look at his watch, and to dedaie, 
when he had discovered to his astonishment that it was already past 
twelve, that he had not an idea of its being so late. He however had 
coffee^ and so had Valentine, who had been throughout an attentive 
auditor, drawing inferences, and balanmng oonciusions, aa Mr. Raven pro- 
ceeded, and at length fiiUy made up his mind to this, that he aidently 
loved Louise, but could not have a very high opinion of her tather. 

Uncle John now developed strong symptoms of impatience, and a 



VAtfiNTTNfe VOX. 307 

Mitftiit WHS aooordingly deepatdied for a coach, and wlien its arrivai had 
been announced, he and Valentine took leave of Mr. Raven, who was 
then, as in &ct he had been throughout the evening, on very high terms 
with himself indeed. 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

SHOWS HOW UNCLE JOHN ANB VALENTINE MANAGED TO A«CERTAIN 
THAT €K>ODMAN WAS CONFINED AS A LUNATIC, AND HOW THEY ALSO 
MANAQBD TO INTBOBUCB THEMSELVES BODILY INTO THE ASYLUM. 

*^' Now I say, governor, what's to be done with this old guy V* en- 
quired Horace, alluding to Uncle John, the morning after he and 
Valentine had dined with Mr. Raven. ^' He has been here a series of 
times you know, and I suppose he'll commence anew series to-morrow. 
Now I think you'd better see him. You can't keep on ^ not at home^ 
forever; besides it looks rotten, precisely as jjf you were anxious to 
avoid him^ which don't do you know, and never did ; therefore my 
undeniable opinion upon the matter is, that you'd better make a formal 
appointment, it will look more like business.'' 

*' But what am I to say to the man ?" cried Walter. 

** Say to him! stick to your original tez^-pecuniary uncomfortables 
—^unexampled shortness of chips — a horrid accumulation of respectable 
duas striking his monetary system with paralysis. You know how to 
do it. 

^' But he's Ghrimwood's greatest friend," said Walter. ^^ He has 
come to town, depend upon it, expressly in order to get him out of 
those pecuniary difficulties in which we have stated he is involved. 
He wUl therefore insist upon knowing where he is. He will put it to 
2ue whether I would rather see my brother kept in a state of embar^ 
vaisment or completely disencumbered. That's the way he'll put it. 
I'm sure of it, and what can I say then ? Can I say. No, let him be ; 
don't give him any assistance; all wOl come right by and bye? It 
strikes me that that wouldn't look gtdte the thing 1" 

** Then 111 teU you what had better be done. Fve just thought of 
it. Suppose we were to write a lot of letters, you know, dating the 
first, for example, at Penzance, there, out by the Land's End, signed 
ofoourse ^Grimwood Qoodman/all regular, inviting the old buffer to 
•run down, and when he gets there let him find another dated Great 
Yarmouth, with a similar invitation, and when he gets to Great 
Yarmouth let him find another addressed to him stating that business, 
which pressed immediately, compelled the undiscoveiable to go to 
York, where he should be inexpressibly delighted to see him, and then 
when he reaches York let him in a precisely similar fashion be seduced 
•over to Shrewsbury or Welch Fool ; and thus keep him cutting about 
the country until he gi^es the thing up as a bad job — eh ? don't you 
think that^that would be <Mbout the sort of Uaino; ?" 



308 LIFS AKD ADTENTVRB8 OF 



*^ Honu»,'' said hb fiUlier, ^^ you are a very ingenious feUow; but 
you are always making the one little mistake oi supposing that eveiy 
other man is a fool." 

^ Well, but don't you think it would answer to make him go to the 
extremes of east, west, north, and south ? I don't know wnat your 
sentiments may be upon the matter, but my impression is, that there's 
nothing in life so well calculated to make a man give up a chase of this 
description," 

^^ And you fimcy he*d ^ frcMn place to place in that way V 

" Oo I— of course he'd go,— <ian there be two opinions about it ?" 

^^ Psha I nonsense I We might get him, no doubt, to any one of the 
places you have mentioned; but wbat if we did? Why, he'd find out 
at once that it was a hoax, and then his suspicions — for that he has 
suspicions now is quite cleai^— would be stronger than ever." 

** Well, have it your own way,— of couzse you always will. You 
never were^ you know, guilty of bdng influenced by those who were 
anxious to advise you for your own good. My opinion is, still, that 
this dodge might be managed ; but if you won't do it, why, then the 
next best thing is to put a bold £m» upon the matter, and see him at 
once. It is perfectly certain that hell never leave London until he has 
seen you, and hema^ come across you when you are quite unprepared." 

^^ There is certainly something in that," said Widter, ^* and as of 
course, I'm never safe, if I leave the house but for a moment, I begin 
to think that it wiU perhaps be better to see him here, when I'm pa- 
fectly cool and collected." 

^^ There can't be half a doubt about it. You know your old nerves 
are not worth so much as twopence when they are taken by surpiise.'' 

^^ Well, give me the pen and ink : 111 write to him now : TU be at 
home this evening at seven ? — say eight." 

A note to this effect wa9 theiefore written and despatdied ; and when 
Uncle John and Valentine, whom Raven and Louise had engaged in 
conversation that morning for nearly two hours, returned, th^ found it 
lying upon the table. 

^^ Well, come," said Uncle John, having read the contents, ^Vm to 
see this man at last. We shall now, perhaps, hear something about 
Goodman." 

^^ I fear not," said Valentine, looking at the note. ^' His object, I ap- 
prehend, is to tell you the tale he tola me, and if it should, theie wm 
remain but one way in which it is posnble to get at the truth. But 
tlien that depends so much upon you." 

'' Well, my boy 1 Well! Am I not to be trusted ?" 

*^ Scarcely in tiiis matter : I'll explain to you why. This man is 
very nervous. He conjures up spectres and so on : he actually set fiie 
to his house, with the view of bumine out the phantom of his brother, 
a circumstanoe which tended, more tiian anything else, to confirm my 
suspicions of foul play. Now, if I thought that you could keep youjr 
countenance, let what might occur, I'd so frighten that man, that, if 
there be anything wrong, we should be perfecUy certain to have a liiO 
confessdon." 



TALBNTDfB TOX. 909 

** There's no danger/' said Unde John, ^ of my bdag unable to do 
thai. The thing is too seriooA— £ur too serious.*' 

^^ But can you look steadily at the object, and at nothing but the 
object, however ridiculous may be the drcumstanoes connected with its 
attainment?" 

*^ In such a case I can : I feel that I can — and will." 

'' Then," said Valentine, '' it shaU be tried. We shall see how he 
wiH act : we shall hear what explanation he will give ; and if that ex- 
planation be not satisfiustory, — and I cannot suppose for a moment that 
it wiH be^— why then we must work upon his fears, end I have not the 
smallest doubt of the result. There is only one drawback ; Horaoe, 
his son, who is perhaps quite as reckless as he is vulgar, will doubtless 
be with him. It will not be very easy, I apprehend, to alarm him ; 
but our point will be gained, notwithstanding, provided you look at the 
object alone." 

'' rU do it !** said Uncle John firmly. «' I'll do it I 111 not move a 
muscle, except indeed it be with the ^ew of expressing surprise." 

Very well. This point being thus satisfactorily settled, they sat 
down to dinner, and at half past seven precisely they started for Wal- 
ter's residence, where they found him and Horace with a pile of docu- 
ments before them, with which they appeared to have been deeply en- 
gaged. 

^ Ah ! my old tar ?" exclaimed Horace, seizing Valentine's hand as 
he and Uncle John entered the room, — ''Why what have you been 
doins with your body for the last half centuiy ? We havn't seen so 
much as a bit of you for an age 1" 

** You are^o seldom at home 1" observed Valentine significantly. 

*^l%r," said Walter, addressing Uncle John, 'Tm proud to know 
you. Take a seat. I am sorry that I should have been so unfortunate 
as to be out whenever you have done me the honour of calling : but 
I have been so much engaged with my brother's busmess that really 
I've had scarcely a moment to myself." 

^ Have you heard from him lately ?" enquired Uncle John, 

'* The other day/' replied Walter. ^^ Last— what day was it Horace 7 
— Thursday ?— Friday ?" 

^* Thursday, you know," said Horaoe. ** Don't you remember ?— - 
The day you went to Lincoln's Inn." 

** Aye ! so it was, of course I — ^it was Thursday. I had forgotten." 

^ He was quite well, I hope ?" 

^* Why, yes: as weU as you might expect, you know, under the cir- 
cumstances. His difficulties have been and are still very pressing and 
Tery vexatious. When a man once gets back, sur, it's a long time before 
he gets forward again." 

*'That is true," said Unde John; ''very true. But what is the 
nature of those d^culties, may I ask f ' 

** They are of an excee^gly complicated character : indeed, so com- 
plicated are they, that I fear we shall never be able to arrange them 
vrith any degree of completeness. These papers which you now see 
before you au relate to tfie various speculations in which he has been 



310 LIFB AHD A IIVKH T URB fl OP 

engaged. My son and I have been woiking at them oonetaiitfy, almost 
night and day for the last month, bnt we really can make notiimg of 
them.*' 

^ Well, Fto known him for a nnmber of j^eais," said Unde J<^ii, 
** but I never before knew that he was a specnktmg man. I know he 
nsed not to be.'' 

^No : it's only within the last year or two that he has been mad 
enoneh to engage in them, and some of them are really of the wildest 
description tmit can possibly be conceived. It wonld have beoi indeed 
a happy thing could he have been satisfied with that which he had. 
Bnt he was led into it — blindly led into it." 
** Bnt what kind of speculations were they ?*' 
^ Speculations, sir ; some of them of a description so absurd, that 
you'd think that the man must have been insane to have aoythmg to 
do with them." 

^ But what is thek nature ?" 

** Upon my word they axe so various and so mixed up together, that 
it IB perfectly impossible to explain. There is only one thin^quite cer- 
tain, which is this, that he's an utteriy mined man." 

*^ That is indeed most unfortunate ; but if such be the case, why does 
he continue to keep out of the way ?-— why does he not meet the thing 
boldly? IsheinTovm?" 

Oh I dear me, no : he left immediately : he wouldn't stop an hour 
after he found how thiujB^s were." 

^ I suppose," said nude John, — *^ in hct^ I believe you have ex- 
plained to my nephew — that he is anxious for his present place of re- 
sidence to be kept a profound secret. Now, sir, we are friends of long 
standing : I have known him now nearly forty years ; and during the 
whole of that period, our confidence in each other has been of a cha- 
racter the most implicit and unreserved. I therefore feel that he cannot 
Dbject to my knowing where he is ; my conviction, in &ct, is strong, 
that he cannot be anxious to remain concealed from me." 

** My dear sir," said Walter, ^^ If there be one friend whom he respects 
more than another, it is yourself; but he has enjoined me most stricUy 
to communicate the secret to no one, not even to you." 

«« Tis false !" cried Valentine, assuming the voice of GkK>dman, and 
making it appear to proceed from the passage. 

" Hal-lo !" exclaimed Horace. " Why, what's o'clock, now ?" — and 
seizing one of the candles, he rushed towards the door, — ^while Walter 
•trembled from head to foot. 

*^ What* s that ?" quickly demanded Uncle John — ^looking earnestly 
at the trembling virretch before him. ^* What's that l"-*he repeated m 
a whisper, which seemed absolutely to strike to the vrretch's heart. 

Walter started : he was speechless : his eyes glared wildly ; and al- 
though they were directed stealthily towards the door, he had not the 
courage to turn his head. 

'^Who are you 9" cried Horace, on reaching the passage. ^^Come 
in ! — don't stand shivering there in the cold ! — Oh, there s nobody"-— 



VALENTINE VOX. 811 

he contimied — as he banged the door with violenee. ^' It's nothbg but 
fimoy," 

*^ It's a very extraordinary fancy," observed Uncle John, ^' if &ncy it 
be ; and very mysterious in its effects." 

^^ Why governor ! governor V cried Horace, shaking his father — an 
operation v^hich was perfectly unnecessary — seeing that he was shaking 
quite sufficiently, vnthout such assistance. ^^ Why, what are you about! 
are you mad V 

The blood of Walter appealed to be freezing in his veins ; his lips 
became livid ; while his eyes seemed glazed with an unearthly film, and 
he looked altogether very horrible. He did, however, at length, on 
being roused, manage to articulate indistinctly, what was understood to 
be a declaration that, since his illness, his nerves had been so weak, that 
the slightest noise alarmed him. 

^' Valentine is right," thought Uncle John. '^ There is, indeed, some- 
thing very wrong here." 

^^ Walter !" said Valentine, in a tone of great solemnity, throvring his 
voice as before. 

" Who's there?" cried Walter, with an expression of terror the 
most absolute. 

" Governor /" cried Horace, " Don't be a fool ! You're enough to 
make a man jump clean out of his skin. There's no one !-^of course, 
there is no one." 

^^ Some one pronounced the name of Walter," observed Uncle John, 
looking seriously at Horace. 

" Oh ! it's only somebody having a game l" returned Horace ; ^^ I 
should like to be behind him, whoever he is. I'd make him remember it." 

'' Walter !" repeated Valentine. 

" Oh I this won't do !" cried Horace, darting to the door. " Who's 
there ? I'll soon see who it is," he continued, returning for a light. 
^' Now, old fellow, where are you ? I only want to see you, that's alL 
D'ye hear 1 Susan ! Have you any fellow there with you ? — because if 
you have. 111 just break his blessed neck, you know ; and no mistake 
about it." 

Susan, on the instant, indignantly flew up, vnth the view of repu- 
diating the implied imputation. 

^' Have you let any fellow in, I ask you ?" cried Horace. 

<'FeUerI if^ let a feUer in ! Wellj I'm sure l" 

^^ I only want to catch one I that's aU ! If I wouldn't give him 
pqfper ! — Has any one been ?" 

^' No ! " cried Susan, *^ I never lets fellers in ; I'll not have my 
character taken away, / know.'' 

*^ Oh 1 don't bother me with your rubbish," cried Horace, returning 
to the room, and closing the door ag»n violently. ^^ I should only just 
like to set eyes on hnn! — that's aU the harm I wish him. But, 
Governor !— come ! don't be a fool ! " 

Walter tried desperately to shake off his feais^ but in vain. He still 
sat as if utterly paralysed. His mouth was open; his limbs were 



312 UPB AND ADVENTURES OP 

powerleBBy and h» looked as if he expected eveiy instant to hear the 
voice again. 

** This won't de, you know !" cried "Biomoe. ** Here— have a glass 
of wine." And he rose in order to reach the decanter, which stood cm 
the sideboard ; but the moment he had risen, a knock was heard at the 
door! 

Again Walter started, and cauffht his breath convulsivdy; but 
Horace, lifdne his hand to enjoin silence, crept softly across the room. 
Another knock was heard, and in an instant Horace had opened the 
door, and seized Susan by the throat. 

She screamed, of course, violently, and struggled with approprii^ 
desperation ; but it was not until Horace — ^whoee lace having recently 
been burnt, was very tender^— had been dreadfhUy scratcheo, that he 
became sensible of the error he had committed. 

*^ GK>od Heavens ! " ezdaimed Mrs. GK)odman from above. ^* What 
on earth is the matter ?" 

^* Here's Mr. Horace, ma*am, been throttling at me just for all the 
world like a pole-cat, and all 'cause I knocked at the door just to tdl 
him you wanted to see him." 

'' Well, how did I know ? " cried Horace. '' Why didn't you speak ? 
How do you think I could tell who it was in the dark ?" 

^^ Horace ! for Heaven's sake come up ! " cried Mrs. €kx)dinan. 

*^ Tm coming," muttered Horace ; and, as he returned for a candle, 
it was plain tliat his personal appearance had not by any means been 
improved. 

At this moment Uncle John felt an almost irresistible inclination to 
smile ; but on turning towards Walter, that inclination was subdued 
without an effort. Acre the guilty creature sat, without the power 
either to move or to speak, writhing under the torturing lash of 
oonscience, and looking as pale as a ghost. He was indeed the very 
picture of horror, presenting altogether a spectacle which would have 
excited the powerful commiseration of those who were near him, but 
that they felt — strongly felt — that he had been guilty of some dreadful 
crime. 

*' Brother !" said Valentme, in a deep sepulchred tone. 

^* Mercy ! *' cried Walter, whose agony at the moment appeared to be 
most intense. 

*^ Brother ! " repeated Valentine. 

Walter again started ; and stopping his ears, shrank back appalled. 

^^ Well I ho.w do you bring it in now ? " cried Horace, re-enterine 
the room with his fiioe bleeding fireely. *^ What I not got over it yet f 
Here— take a glass of wine : youll feel fifty per cent, bietter after that. 
Whatever is the maUer with you, I can't conceive." And he fiUed a 
glass, and handed it to his father, who had no sooner raised it to his 
fips than he dropped it ; for at that moment Valentine, throwing his 
voice as before into the passage, again most solemnly cried, '^ Walter I " 

^* It don't signify talking," said Horace, ^^ there mtttt be some fellow 
in the house. I'm sure of it ! " And he again went to the door, and 
listened very attentively, and ground hie teeth, and clenched his fists 



VALENTINE VOX. 31 S 

With great desperation. " You'd better look out, my fine fellow," he 
cried, " because if 1 do happen to catch you, you'll find no mistake 
about me ! Well, how do you find yourself now, after spilling your 
wine like a senseless old infant ? I'll make it out now before I afeep." 

" No ! Horace, no ! " said Walter faintly. " You will find no one 
there." 

^*' Oh ! but I know better ! You don't think there is anybody then, 
don't you ? " 

Walter shook his head very mournfully, and heaved a sigh, which 
amounted almost to a groan. 

" Brother, brother !" said Valentine, solemnly throwing his voice just 
behind the trembling man. 

" I will not, I cannot endure it ! " cried Walter with startling energy. 
" It's far worse than death. I must and will explain." 

" Don't be an ass ! " said Horace. " What have you got to explain V 
and he pinched his father s arm very secretly but very severely. 

" There is evidently something," observed Uncle John, ** that re- 
quires explanation, and I certainly do think it had better be done at 



once." 



'• Explain ! " cried Valentine in a truly awful tone, which really had 
the efi^ect of startling even Horace, for he looked towards the spot from 
which it apparently proceeded, with an expression, if not indeed of ab- 
solute terror, of something which looked very like it. 

" Explain ! " repeated Valentine in a tone of still greater solemnity ; 
and Walter, who continued to tremble as if with the paky, was about 
to explain, when Horace stopped him, and with a countenance indica- 
tive of no inconsiderable alarm, said, " If it must be known, I'll — poob! 
I won't have it ! " and he looked round as if to defy that influence 
which a moment before he had conceived to be supernatural. 

" Beware!"— cried Valentine — " beware!" 

" What is it ? " enquired Uncle John. 

" Why, the fact of the matter is this," replied Horace, whose firm- 
ness the voice had again shaken. ^' The fact is, the old man went mad, 
and the governor deemed it prudent, you know, for his own personal 
safety, to have him taken care of. And that's the long and the short 
of it." 

" Mad ! " cried Uncle John. 

** Mad, Sir ! mad as a four-year-old." 

*' Bless my life and soul ! I'd no idea of such a thing. I'd always 
supposed him to be a remarkably strong-minded man." 

" He is mad and no mistake," rejoined Horace, " and I'm sorry to 
say that madness runs a little in the family. The governor there is 
frequently mad, but then when the fit's on him he'll no more believe it 
than nothing. You might just as well try to persuade a brick waH." 

" My poor old friend mad ! Dear — ^bless me ! " said Uncle John, who 
believed it, and was really very sorry to hear it. *' And what have 
you done with him ? Where is he confined?" 

**^ In a nice quiet private asylum, where he is well taken care of, and 
treated with the utmost kindness and attention.'* 

s s 



314 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

^* Yes,'' said Walter, fiuntly, altbotigh he felt quite relieved by the 
manifest credulity of Unde John, ^^ it is very expensive to me, certainly, 
but I really did not feel myself justified in sending him to any one of 
those horrible public places where poor creatures are treated you don't 
know how. I therefore went to the expense of placing him in a 
respectable private establishment, where he has every comfort, and is, I 
am glad to say, as happy as possible." 

*' You acted well, Sir. It does you great credit, and proves that 
you possess a good heart," said Uncle John. 

*^ 1 feel that I have done no more than my duty," said Walter. ^^ He 
is my brother." And having got thus fur, the hypocrite began to 
breathe freely and to feel very considerably better. 

^' Right ; right ; very right,*' said Uncle John, '^ that consideration 
is, ind^, very powerful. And with whom have you placed him ? — 
what establishment is he in V 

*' Dr. Holdem's," said Walter, and Horace looked at him as if with 
the view of conveying his conviction that in stating that fact he had 
done very wrong ; but Walter, who knew the strict rules of the esta- 
blishment having reference to communications between patients and 
their Mends, also knew that unless suspicion were excited and a public 
stir made, his brother would be just as secure as before. *"*" Dr. 
Holdem," he continued, '^ is a most humane man, and, moreover, a man 
of extraordinary talent. I therefore feel much more satisfied under the 
circumstances than I should if he were here.'' 

^^ Of course I of course !" said Uncle John. ^^ You could do nothing 
with him, poor fellow ! He is better where he is — much better. Then 
his affairs ? " — 

^^ Why, they certainly are somewhat embarrassed,'* said Walter ; 
^^ but if even they were not, such a misrepresentation would be, under 
the circumstances, venial. Yon are aware — as a man of sense and 
reflection, you must be aware — that it is very, very painful, to have 
the &Lct of a relative being confined as a lunatic generally known. The 
calamity is sufficiently afflicting of itself, but the torture would be 
far more exquisite if accompanied by the perpetual enquiries of anxious 
friends." 

"Very true, very true," said Uncle John, "you would be placed 
in a position very similar to that of a man having multitudes of friends 
pourmg in to console him for the loss of one whom he most dearly loved." 

" Precisely," said Walter, who conceived that he had made a most 
palpable hit ; and so he had, indeed, as &r as Uncle John was con- 
coned. "You therefore see,** he continued, "and properly I hope, 
appreciate, my motive in having attributed his absence to the existence 
of difficulties of a pecuniary character ? " 

" Oh ! you acted very right. Under the circumstances, no doubt I 
should have done the same myself." 

"You will believe that it was out of no disrespect to you that 

I hesitated to explain the real fikcts as they stood. I do assure you that 

I esteem most highly all who take a kind interest in my poor brother's 

vdfue ; but had I not known that he and you had been bosom fitiends 



VALENTINE VOX. 315 

SO loDg, I really could not, in justice to my own feelings, have entered 
into this most afflicting explanation." 

" Poor fellow ! " said Uncle John, " who'd have thought it ! I 
always fancied that he was rather eccentric, but I never for an instant 
supposed that he was not in reality sane. And yet he certainly would 
wmetimes run on very strangely ! I should like, although I should, at 
the same time, be very sorry, to see him. I wonder whether he*d 
know me ! " 

^' In a moment," said Walter. ^' That is, unfortunately, the worst 
of it. While none but strangers are near he is full of gaiety and hap- 
piness; but if he sees an old friend, he becomes so excited, and 
his subsequent depression is so dreadful, that it is absolutely dangerous 
to allow a friend to go near him." 

^' In that case then, certainly," said Uncle John, '' I must subdue my 
anxiety to see him. I would not be the means of exciting him for the 
world; although, I must confess, that I should like to have had 
a word — ^if it were only one word — with him before I left town. 
However, under the circumstances, I shall return far more satisfied 
than I came — for even to know the worst is more tolerable than to be 
tortured with vague suspicions ; — ^and I trust th^t before long I shall 
have the happiness to hear that he is perfectly recovered." 

Uncle John now rose, vnth the view of taking his departure ; and when 
Walter, having breathed an apparently fervent prayer for the recovery 
of his brother, had promised to advise him of the slightest favourable 
change, he and Valentine, with minds more at ease than when they 
entered, left, much to the satisfaction of Walter and his son. 

^* It's very dreadful : is it not ? " said Uncle John, as he left the 
house. 

" Do you believe it ? " enquired Valentine. 

*^ Why, my boy, I don't see how there can be mueh doubt about the 
business." 

'^ I believe that they have placed him in a madhouse," said Va- 
lentine. '^ I do go so far as to believe that ; but I'll no more believe that 
he is mad than I'll believe that yon are mad." 

^^ But if he's in a madhouse, he mtist be mad ! They can't answer 
to put a man there unless he is ; so that the fact of his being there is 
proof positive of his madness ! — don't you see ? The thing is as clear 
as the sun at noon-day." 

" Uncle," said Valentine, " you have not heard of the system 
upon which these private lunatic asylums are based ; you have not 
heard that under that villanous system, men — perfectly sane men — 
can be seized, gagged, chained, and imprisoned for life, to promote the 
interests or to gratify the malignity of those to whom they are 
prompted by nature to look for affection; you have not heard that 
husbands can bo incarcerated by wives, wives by husbands, brothers by 
sisters, sisters by brothers, sons by fathers, and fathers by sons ; you 
have not heard " 

" Now, before you go any farther," said Uncle John, stopping in his 
usual manner ; " have t/ou ? " 



316 LIFE AND ADV^TURES OF 

^^ I have," replied Valentine, '^ and firmly believe that such things are 
of constant occurrence." 

" 1 tell you they can't answer to do it." 

" To whom need they answer ? " 

*' To the law ! — to the law, sir," exclaimed Uncle John — " to the 
law!" 

^^ What has the law to do with private lunatic asylums ? They are 
virtually placed beyond the pale of the law. The private rules of each 
establishment absolutely fonn the constitution under which the inmates 
live ; they are the only laws by which they are governed — ^the only laws 
to which they have the power to appeal." 

" But their friends, my dear boy ! — their friends !" 

^'How can their friends act in ignorance of the matter? A man is stolen 
from society — from his home : he is carried away secretly : none but 
those who have been instrumental, and are interested, perhaps pecu- 
niarily, in his capture, are cognizant of the place of his concealment : 
how in such a case, then, can his friends appeal to the law, or act at all, 
not knowing where he is ? " 

'* Clearly, if they don't know where he is, it's quite impossible for 
them to act ; but do you mean to tell me that such monstrous iniqui- 
ties are in reality practised ? " 

" Uncle," said Valentine, " I have conversed on this truly dreadful 
subject with many who have been, like you, incredulous, and they 
have all asked the self-same question, namely. Are these iniquities 
practised ? My answer has been invariably — If I say yes^ you'll turn 
away, disbelieve me, and think no more of it : let, therefore, the first 
question be this — Can these monstrous iniquities be practised? — and 
when you have clearly ascertained that they can, you have simply to 
look at the temptations which exist, and the facilities which are afforded, 
to feel perfectly sure that they are. Suppose I were a villain and 
wished to enjoy your property, what need I do to secure it ? — write to 
the proprietor of one of these private bastilcs, who would at once send 
doctors to sign the certificate of your insanity, and keepers to manacle 
and carry you off, without a soul besides knowing a single word about 
the matter. Suppose I were married and had an abandoned wife, who 
wished with impunity to enjoy the society of her paramour, what need 
she do to get rid of me for ever ? — The same ! — Nay, suppose any case 
in which the concealment of a man, a woman, or even a child is deemed 
necessary, either to the promotion of the interests, or to the gratifica- 
tion of the malignant spirit of any relative or friend, the same need 
but be done for the object to be secured ! I therefore have not the 
smallest doubt that in this case those ereatures whom we have this 
night seen, have sent our poor friend to one of these dreadful places, 
expressly in order to secure whatever property he may have, paying a 
certain sum weekly, or monthly, with the view of depriving him for 
ever of the power to reclaim it. This is my conviction — a conviction 
which every cireumstance that has occurred since his absence now tends 
to confirm." 

" You araazse me!" exclaimed Uncle John. " But if it should be 



VALENTINE VOX. 817 

tke case, we'll have him out to-morrow. lie shall not be there another 
day ! — We'll have him out to-morrow." 

" That, I fear," said Valentine, " is much easier said than accom- 
plished. But we'll first ascertain where this Holdem's asylum is, and 
in the morning we'll go and see what can be done." 

" So we wiu ! — so we will ! You're a fine fellow, Val ! We will 
go in the morning, and if he be there ! — Well, well : we shall see : we 
shall see : we shall know better then how to act : sliall we not ? Poor 
fellow ! Bless my life ! — what a world this is to live in ! I am really 
80 astonished that I feel quite confused ! " And this indeed was a fact. 
Uncle John was confused. There were so many things entirely new to 
him pressing upon his mind, that he scarcely knew what he was about : 
in fact, he felt so bewildered, and so perfectly exhausted, that from 
eleven that night till eleven the next morning he was utterly lost to 
the cares of the world. 

Valentine, however, rose early. His first object was to learn where 
the establishment of Dr. Holdem was situated, and having eventually 
succeeded in this, he returned just as Uncle John came down. 

" WeH," said Valentine, •' I have ascertained where this place is." 

*' There's a good fellow !" said Uncle John. " Then we'll just have 
a little bit of breakfast and start oJQf at once. We shall manage it, 
Val ! — I feel sure that we shall do it ! — But the existence of such a 
system as that which you explained to me last night is an absolute 
disgrace to the country. We'll not, however, say any more about that 
now : come ! — let's make a breakfast." 

They did so, and sent for a cab, and in less than an hour they were 
at the gates of Dr. Holdem's asylum. 

" Well, this don't appear to be a very dreadful place," said Uncle 
John. " It looks quiet and comfortable enough : at all events it has a 
very fair outside." 

Without replying to this observation, which was, however, quite 
natural under the circumstances, Valentine rang the bell, and in duo 
time a person appeared at the gate. 

*^ I wish to see Dr. Holdem," said Valentine. 

*' He is out," said the man, ^ but if it's on business, Mr. Jones, per- 
haps, will do just as well." 

^^ It if on business : let me see Mr. Jones." 

They now entered, and when the gate had been secured they were 
shown into a handsomely built private house, which formed the front of 
the asylum. 

^' You have," said Valentine, addressing Mr. Jones, who had im- 
mediately made his appearance. ^^ You have a gentleman in your es- 
tablishment named Goodman." 

" How do you know that ?" demanded Mr. Jones. 

" We have it from good authority," replied Valentine, " and we 
are anxious to see him if it be but for a moment." 

" Oh, is that all you want ?" 

" That is all," said Valentine. 

'' Well then, if that's all, of course you can't see him." 



318 LIFB AND ADVENTURES OF 

^' But we are friends," said Uncle John. ^' I have known him for at 
least forty years." 

" It don't matter if you've known him for at least forty thousand ! — 
I tell you again you can t see him." 

" But ^e only wish to speak one word." 

" It can't be done, I tell you ! — So that if that's all you want I just 
wish you a very good morning." 

•' My good friend," said Uncle John, in a soothing strain, " I have 
travelled between seventy and eighty miles in order to sec him, and — " 

" It don't matter a button," interrupted Mr. Jones, " if you have tra- 
velled between seventy and eighty millions of miles, it don't make a bit 
of difference." 

^*' But surely there can be no serious objection to my having one 
word ?" 

" It isn't to be done ! there, that's all about it !" 

^^ Indeed, I think it very hard that I should not be permitted to see 
a friend whom—" 

" Now the bottom of it is," said Mr. Jones, " that it isn't of any uso 
talking. If you were to stop here till doomsday, and talk all the time, 
you wouldn't be a single bit nearer the mark." 

^^ But consider, my good friend, what a dreadful thing it is to be thus 
precluded — " 

" It's of no use, I tell you ! By stopping here you're only wasting 
your own time and mine." 

^' Then I can't see him ? Nothing will induce you to let me have a 
word with him ?" n 

" Nothing ! You may safely take your oath of it !" 

" Then,** said Uncle John, who now began to feel particularly in- 
dignant, "I see how it is. I see it all ! Til have recourse to other 
means ! — ^to other means I Justice shall be had if it costs ten thousand 
pounds I — I'll see if the law is inoperative here." 

" Oh ! don't bother me with your law !" cried Jones, who was really 
impatient for them to go, " Do what you like ! — ice don't care what 
you do ! What do we care ?" 

•• We'll see, sir ! — we'll see !" cried Uncle John, who, after looking 
at Mr. Jones with surpassing fierceness, took Valentine's arm and de- 
parted. ^'I'm satisfied now," he continued as he passed the outer 
gates; '^ I'm perfectly satisfied that the practice which you explained to 
me last night has in this case been put into operation." 

** 1 wish," said Valentine, that we could but have got inside. But I 
scarcely expected that we should. Yon see how impossible it is for the 
inmatc» of these dreadful places to hold communication with their 
friends. But what's to be done now ? We have gained one point — tliat 
of knowing that he is in reality there." 

'' Let us go back at once to his brother," said Uncle John, ^' and tell 
him plainly our suspicions, and threaten him boldly with exposure, un- 
less he immediately consents to release him." 

'* Stop," cried Valentine, looking back from the cab window. " Let 
ns go a little out of the road ;" and having given the necessary instruc- 



VALENTINE VOX. 319 

tions to tlie driver, he continued, ^' That seems to be the garden of the 
asylum. I wish we had a ladder. We might perhaps see him from 
tlie top of the wall." 

** So we might !'' cried Uncle John. " Stop the cab — so we might." 
" But then you see a ladder is a thing we have not got ! However, 
the wall is not very high, certainly. Well get out and see what can 
be done." 

They accordingly alighted, and having directed the cabman to wait, 
went round by the side of the wall. It was higher, much higher than 
it appeared from the road, but they notwithstanding walked to the back, 
where Valentine perceived a kind of shed built against it, whicji had 
been raised to within four or five feet of the top. 

" The very thing," said Valentine. " If we can but get upon that 
shed, we shall be able to look into the garden." They therefore went 
round, with the view of ascertaining to whom the shed belonged ; and 
having easily obtained the permission of the owner, Valentine instantly 
mounted. 

He was at first very cautious, and taking off his hat, just peeped 
over the wall, lest, by being seen, his object should be frustrated. He 
saw a number of emaciated creatures crawling about : but he could not 
distinguish poor Goodman amongst them. Some looked idiotic, others 
seemed to have reached the very depths of despair; but as Valen- 
tine's object was not to contemplate the chief characteristics of 
the scene, every feeling was merged in his anxiety to distinguish his 
friend. 

*' Can you seen him ? *' enquired Uncle John from below. 
** No ! " replied Valentine, " or if he be one of those whom I do see, 
he must indeed be dreadfully altered." 

'^ Here, let me come up," said Uncle John, ^' I shall know him from 
a thousand." 

^^ I'm afraid, sir, it wont bear you^^ observed the owner of the 
shed. 

" Oh ! I'm bulky, but not very weighty : I'll try it," returned Uncle 
John, who, by dint of great exertion, reached the roof. lie looked 
round : Goodman was not amongst them ! ^' Bless my life ! I wish 
they'd come this way," said he. " Val, can't we beckon to oiie 
of them ? Now, there's a man ! — ^he seems to be no more mad than I 
am ; can't we attract his attention ? " 

" Keep your head down," cried Valentine ; " he sees us — ^he's 
conyng this way ; " and as he spoke, the person alluded to, who hap- 
pened to be no other than Wbitely, approached. 

" Do you know Mr. Goodman? " enquired Valentine, 
" Alas, yes !" replied Wbitely. 

'< Will you do me the favour to tell him cautiously that Valentino is 
here ?" 

" I've heard of you," said Whitely, at once bursting into tears. 
^^ But he cannot leave his bed ; nor will he ever again, untu he ceases to 
breathe." 

^^ Indeed 1 " exclaimed Valentine. ^' What has been the cause ? " 



320 LIFE AMD ADYENTURBS OF 

*' Brutality, sir ! absolute brutality ! We some time once tried to 
escape, and succeeded to a certain extent, but were retaken ; and, on 
being brought back, we were subjected to the most horrible cruelties 
you have the power to conceive. He happened to be the originator of 
the scheme, and on this becoming known, they inflicted upon him the 
greatest amount of torture." 

^' The wretches l" cried Valentine. '' But is there no hope of his 
recovery ? " 

"None!" replied Whitely. "They have murdered him. Sir, — 
cruelly, brutally, murdered him. He is now on the very brink of . 

death." » 

^^ What's that ? what's that you say 1" cried Uncle John, starting up , 

and leaning completely over to the top of the wall. " Murdered, say 
you ? — ^murdered him !" 

" Hush ! " said Mr. Whitely, " for Heaven s sake, hush ! " And he 
instantly walked from the spot ; for at that moment Uncle John was 
seen by the whole of the patients, who raised a shout, and ran towards 
him with an expression of amazement the most intense. 

" But one word ! " said Uncle John, addressing Whitely. '• But 
one single word ! " Mr. Whitely, however, fearful of being seen by the 
keepers, did not turn his head. He had but just recovered from the 
dreadful efiects of the treatment he had experienced on being recap- * 

tured ; he therefore dared not again excite tlie vengeance of the keepers, 
well knowing that if another brutal attack were made upon him, it 
would be utterly impossible for him to survive it ; and hence he walked 
away with a heavy bursting heart, without taking, however, the 
slightest apparent notice. 

" Do you also know my friend Goodman ? " demanded Uncle John of 
the poor insane creatures, who were by this time beneath him. 

" Hooray ! " they cried, dangling their hands and dancing about, and 
looking altogether as delighted as possible. 

" Sir ! " cried Uncle John, again shouting after Whitely, and putting 
one leg over the wall, in order to get as near to him as he could. 
" Sir ! but one word ! — /* he mad ? " 

The energy with which Uncle John put this question, and the 
anxiety which he manifested to receive a reply, were so excessive, that 
he at once lost his balance, and fell over the wall. 

Valentine, who had seized the tail of his coat, and thus split it com- 
pletely up the back, as he was falling, now saw two brutal-looking 
fellows running fiercely towards, the spot. He therefore instantly 
leaped from the wall to jom his uncle, and to protect him, if possible, 
from the keepers, who appeared to be inspired with the spirit of 
vengeance. 



(i 




^ "j; i;».iW.CTilp 



n 



a 




It 



k 



VALENTINE VOX. 321 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

A FORCIBLE EXPULSION, AND A TOTALLY UNEXPECTED ESCAPE. 

As Uncle Johii, in falling, threw bis anns round the neck of a poor idiot 
who, conceiving himself to be the king of the universe, bad embellished 
his cap with a variety of young onions, he alighted without sustaining 
any very serious injury, although his weight drove his majesty, the 
monarch of the world, with great violence against a friend who was 
perfectly clear only upon the one grand point of his baving been 
swindled out of his privileges as the Lord High Chancellor of England 
ever since a certain antediluvian era, the cbief characteristics of which 
it appeared had been washed from his memory by the Flood. 

Before, however, Uncle John could rise, one of the keepers had 
seized liim by the collar, with the laudable view, as he promptly ex- 
plained, of letting him know the difference; but Valentine, in an 
instant sprang at the throat of the ruffian, and compelled him to relin- 
quish his hold. ^' No violence !" be exclaimed, " It will not do with 
us." 

'^ No, it won't do with us, sir !" echoed Uncle John, inspiring courage 
from Valentine, although it must be confessed, that he even then felt 
rather frightened than not. ^' There's the law against violence ! ther 
law, sir ! the law !" 

^ What's the law to do with us ? what right have you in here ?* 
demanded the keeper. 

'^ I overbalanced myself," said Uncle John, ^* I overbalanced myself. 
Do you think that I should have tumbled if I could have helped it ?" 

^^ But what business had you on the wall ?" 

^*' To look for Goodman !" cried Valentine. ^* Goodman, whom you 
are murdering T 

^* Valentine ! Valentine !" faintly exchumed an emaciated form whom 
the noise had attracted to the window of bis celL 

'' It is €h>odman !" cried Valentine. 

*' My firiend ! my dear friend I" cried Uncle John. '* But one word!" 

The form sank back, and was seen no more. 

^' My good man !" said Uncle John, addressing the keeper, '^ if you 
are a Christian, you will let me see my friend. Let me have but a 
word with him ! and 1*11 give you all the money I've got." 

'' What ! corruption !" exclaimed the immaculate keeper, alternately 
looking most virtuously indignant and wistfully glancing at the weli- 
filled purse which Uncle John very promptly held forth. *' Do yet 
want to corrupt me T 

^' Let me ^eak to him but for an instant !" 

^^ Come along !" cried the keeper, ^' we'll werry soon see what you're 
made on." 

^^ Now then !" shouted Valentine, making his voice apparently pro^ 

T T 



322 LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF 

' ceed from the otber side of the waU. '^ Let's attack them at once ! 

Now, down with the ruffians T 

'^ Hal-lo 1" cried the principal keeper, looking round with an expres- 
sion of amazement. '^ What, more on yer !" he continued ; and as at 
that moment the person to whom the shed belonged peeped over the 
wall to see how things were going on, he raised an alarm which in an 
instant brought four additional keepers to the spot. 

'^ Look out ! We*re attacked 1 There's a mob on 'em eoming !" cried the 
fellow, as his scowling companions approached. 

'^ Where are they ?" demanded a ruffian, who looked as if he had 
that day returned from transportation. 

'^ Over the wall !" was the reply, and a ladder was procured, while 
Valentine still in a feigned voice, kept shouting. 

^' Let's see how many on 'em there is !" cried the creature who looked 
so much like a returned convict ; and he ascended the ladder and looked 
anxiously round, but the only man whom he could see was the owner 
of the shed, whose person was perfectly well known. 

^^ Have you seen a mob o' pipple any wheres about here ?" he enquired 
of this person. 

" No," was the reply, " tliere's been nothing of the sort." 

" There's none here !" said he who occupied the ladder, looking round. 

" I know better !" cried the principal keeper ; " I heard *em !" 
I tell yer there ain't then ! can't yer believe me ?" 
Well, come let's secure these ere too as we've got !" and while the 
principal keeper and two of his companions seized Valentine roughly, 
the other tlfrce fastened, like tigers, upon Uncle John. 

" Keep off !" cried Valentine, '* We'll go where you please, and before 
whom you please, but we will not be dragged !" 
. In an instant one of the ruffians seized him by the legs, while two 
others secured his arms and lifted him bodily upon their shoulders, and 
as Uncle John was favoured with a precisely similar lift, they were 
carried straggling desperately but ineffectually across the garden, while 
the sovereign of the universe, and those idiotic subjects whom he termed 
continually, and with all the characteristic regularity of nature, '^ my 
people," were dancing and shouting, and performing the most extraor- 
dinary antics, apparently with the view of rendering it obvious to all 
that they were absolutely filled with delight. 

The keepers now reached the house with their burden, and as Holdem 
the proprietor of the Asylum, had just returned from town, they threw 
Uncle John and Valentine before him. 

*' Hollo, hollo, hollo ! What's all this T cried Dr. Holdem, whose 
grateful impression at the moment was, that he had been blessed with 
two additional patients. ^^ Won't they be quiet ? What*B the mean- 
ing of it, eh ?" 

**• Why these two owdayshus indiwiduals,*' replied the chief keeper, 
*^ is the leaders of a whole mob o' rabble as is come here to let out the 
patients." 

^' What !" exclaimed the doctor with an expression of unlimited 
tonishment. " And how did they get in ?" 






VALBNTINB VOX. 323 

*' Why they shied 'emselves over the wall : the big un come fust, and 
the tother un follered." 

*^ And what have you to say to this monstrous proceeding V cried 
the doctor with highly appropriate scowl. *^ Pray what is your 
object r 

'* This :" said Valentine, ** you have in confinement a friend of ours 
whom you have cruelly ill used." 

^' How dare you talk to me in that fashion ?" interrupted the doctor. 

^^ Dare !" said Valentine, ^' you shall find that we dare do more than 
talk. Our object was to see that friend whose name is Goodman, and 
who has been wickedly incarcerated here as an insane man. We ap- 
plied for permission to see him, and as that was refused us, we mounted 
the wall." 

'^ I admire your impudence ! But are you aware that in trespassing 
thus upon my premises, you have rendered yourselves liable to be 
punished most severely V 

**" But that was an accident 1" cried Uncle Jolm, ** I overbalanced 
myself, and fell into the garden by accident." 

^* Indeed !" said the doctor sarcastically. *' Indeed ! And did you 
overbalance yourself, and slip down by accident ?" 

^* No,'* replied Valentine. ^^ I did not. But we are quite prepared 
to answer for what we have done before a magistrate at once, or in any 
other way, for I presume the thing will not be allowed to drop here." 

'^ I have a great mind to give you into custody, and have you both 
dragged off like felons." 

''Do so," said Valentine, ^'that we may have an opportunity at 
once of explaining publicly all the circumstances connected with our 
present position. Let us be taken without delay before a magistrate. 
It cannot but tend to promote the object we have in view." 

*' Upon my word, young man, you treat the matter very coolly. But 
pray how many did you bring with you ?" 

" None," replied Valentine. 

'^ Oh !" exclaimed the pure and incorruptible keeper, apparently 
shocked at what he believed to be a falsehood. '^ What ! none ? when 
I heered a whole mob on 'em a hoUerin ? Oh !" 

" We came alone," said Uncle John. '* There was no mob with us." 

*' Well !" said Valentine, '* are we to be given into custody, or how 
do you mean to act ?" 

*' As I please !" replied the doctor. '* I shall act as I please. If I 
thought you were worth powder and shot I should pursue a very dif- 
ferent course, but as it is, I shall simply have you bundled out of the 
place, believing you to be a couple of characterless vagabonds." 

^' Vagabonds ! characterless vagabonds 1 " exclaimed Uncle John, 
whose indignation had gained the ascendancy over his fears. '^ What 
do you mean, sir ? Here is my card !" But before he had time to 
produce it, the six keepers seized him and Valentine as before, and 
having carried them to the entrance, threw them completely into the 
road. 

The moment Valentine recovered himself, he flew at the chief inyr- 



824 LIFB AND ADVENTURES OF 

midon and certainly did administar unto him one Mow wfaich made him 
wink and shake his head, and screw up his features, until they por- 
trayed great intellectual confusion. As, however, Uncle John on the 
one liand dragged Valentine away, and the doctor on the other ordered 
his men in at once, the gates were closed hefore the intellects of the 
fellow were perfectly restored, or doubtless Valentane would have 
felt the full force of his vengeance. 

'' Thank Heaven, we are out I*' exclaimed Unde John, when he saw 
the gates closed. '' I really at one time began to feel alarmed." 

*' Alarmed at what V* enquired Valentine. 

** Why, suppose they had kept us in there with the rest V* 

^' Surely you did not suppose they would do that ?" 

** Why, my boy, I didn't know what to think. But if they Aoe^ kept 
us in, it would have been very dreadful, seeing that not a single &iend 
would have known that we were there." 

'^ You now see precisely the position in whicli the victims of this 
horrible system are placed. Their friends are not su£Pered to know that 
they are there ! But we were quite safe, for none are kept but those 
who are paid for. No, all that I was afraid of was, that they would 
have taken it into their heads to half murder us, for those fellows are 
very powerful, and we should liave been able to do nothing with the 
six. As for taking us before a magistrate, I felt sure that they would 
not do tiiat. Their object is secrecy : it would never do for them to 
make a stir." 

^' Well, well, we ought to be thankful that things are no w<»se. 
But poor Goodman ! My heart bleeds for him 1 The vile wretches ! 
But well have him out, my boy ! Well never rest till we have him 
out." 

^*' I fear that it is now too late," said Valentine. ^' My impfession 
is that on seeing us he sank to rise no more." 

" I hope not, my boy," said Uncle John, '' I hope not," and aa he 
felt for his handkerchief to wipe the tears from his eyes, ke became 
oognisant of the fact of his coat being split from the waist to the collar. 
"Why, my boy I why what on eaith ! — why what's this?" said 
he, turning round and pulling the tails of the coat before him. " What 

IS It? 

" Why it looks sometiiing like a small slit," replied Valentine. " It 
is by no means bad cloth : if it had been, it certainly would not have 
had two tails now. It was done when you fell from the wall." 

" Well, well," said Uncle John. " Well, never mind that. I don't 
care a straw about that." And as he spoke they came within sight of 
the cab which they had ordered to wait their return. 

The driver was standing with the door in his hand, and seemed some- 
what confused when they appeared, for he hastily dosed the door, 
mounted his box and drove towards them. 

We have kept you a long time," said Unde John. 
No sconsequence at all, sir ; I knowed you was genehnen," replied 
the man, who looked anxiously inside the cab before he opened the door 
to allow them to enter. ^ Beg pardon, sir," he added, as Uncle John 






44 

44 



TALIDITINB TOX. 325 

'was stepping in, '^but de yet know, sir, as yer coat's a leetle damaged 
in the back, sir V 

^' Oh yes," said Uncle John, good humourediy. ^ I met with an 
.accident." 

'^ Beg pardon ; I didn't know as you was awares on it, that's all," 
lejoined the man, who then mounted his box, and made his horse under- 
stand that he had not only a whip, but the power to use it. 

*^ We'll go and see that wretch of a brother to night," said Uncle 
-John, after a pause, during which he and Valentine hadbe^ completely 
lost in thought. ^* Tliat's tlie first stq), my boy : that's the first step : 
well work him !" 

^^ My friend \" said a voico which appeared to proceed from under 
the seat of the cab. 

^^ Valentine I Valentine !" cried Uncle John, starting up as if some 
dog had bitten his calf. *' My dear boy ! you should not ! you really 
'sbmild not, particularly at such a time as this !" 

Upon my honour," said Valentine, 'Mt was not I that spoke." 
Not you !" said Uncle John. ^* Bless my life, it was some one !" 
'* My friend !" repeated the voic^, and Uncle John again started, for 
.at the moment, he felt something touch his legs. Valentine therefore 
exunined the cab, and found crouched beneath the seat poor Whitely. 

*^ Do not be alarmed, my good friends," said he, ^* it is only the poor 
creature whom you spoke to in the garden." 

^* I*m right glad to see yon, sir," cried Uncle John ; ^^ but come out 
of that hole, you'U be smothered ! There's plenty of room." 

^ I thank you," said Whitely, ** but I am much safer here. They 
may suddenly pass by and see me.'' 

^ Well, sit between onr legs," said Uncle John, ^' and then III defy 
them to see you. You'll be cramped to death there." 

** No, indeed I'm very comfortable," said Whitely, although there 
was scarcely sufficient room for a dog. He was, however, at length 
prevailed upon, although with great reluctance, to sit at the bottom of 
the cab. 

*^ And how did you manaee to escape ?" enquired Valentine. 
" I owe it all to you," said Whitely, grasping his hand. ** Our poor 
friend had told me of your power as a ventriloquist, and therefore when 
I heard what appeared to be voices in the distance, I felt quite sura 
that it was yon. You will remember that a ladder was brought into 
the garden immediately after the shouting was heard. It was oy that 
I escaped. The man who ascended it to look over the wall, instead of 
taking it away with him, simply threw it down to assist his fellows 
in carrying you into the house, when, taking advantage of the confusion 
that prevailed, I raised the ladder, and having reached the top of the 
wall unpereeived, drew it over to the other side, and thus alighted in 
safety. I had not proceeded far before I saw this vehicle, and having 
ascertained that it was waiting for two gentlemen, I begged of the man 
to allow me to lie concealed beneath the seat, in order that if it had 
happened that the cab was not waiting for you, I might still have been 
safe ; but when I heard you mention our friend's wretched brother, and 



326 LIFE AND ▲OTBHTURBS OP 

thus knew you were alone, I ventured to speak, feeling perfectly soie 
that you would not only not betray me, but pardon tny intrusion." 

*^ My dear sir !" cried Uncle John, extending his hand, **• Fm glad 
to see yon. I only wish that I had found my poor friend here as wdL 

But we'll have him out ! well have him out before " 

^' Husk /*' cried Whitely, trembling with great violence, and crouch- 
ing again beneath the scat. " I hear them coming ! they are behind 
us ! For God's sake, don*t suffer them to seize me again." 

At tliis moment the sound of horses' hoofs were heard in the dis- 
tance ; and Valentine on looking back perceived two persons on horse- 
back tearing along the road at full gallop. *' Don't be alarmed," said 
he, ^* dont be alarmed, let what may occur, you are safe." But poor 
Wliitcly trembled from head to foot, while the perspiration poured down 
the face of Uncle John, who was scarcely less frightened than Whitely 
himself. 

Tlie horsemen now gained upon them Cut, and their excitement 
increased in proportion. '* These men may be after our poor friend," 
said Valentine, addressing the cabman ; ^ if it be necessary you wUI 
stick to us ?" 

''And no mistake," replied the man, ''I dont stop for nobody. 
Keep him snug. They shouldn't ketch us at all, ony the wust on it 
is, I cam't git this ere hold oss along. Phit ! — keame up !" he added, 
as he pulled out of the road. ** Here they come ! fit for to break their 
blessed necks, good luck to em !" 

■ They were now just behind, and Uncle John perspired more freely. 
They passed ! Two butchers were testing the speed of their horses 
to decide a bet of some given quantity of beer. 

^* Thank Heaven !" exclaimed Uncle John, much relieved. ^ AU 
right, my friend ; come forth, all safe." 

Mr. Whitely, however, remained where he was ; he neither moved 
nor uttered a word. 

'' There is no danger now," said Valentine, endeavouring to rouse 
him. He still, however, continued to be motionless, and silent. 

'* Come^ come, my friend !" said Uncle John, who thought it strange. 
** Are you not well, my friend ? are you not well V* 
As Whitely made no answer, Valentme gently drew him forth. He 
was inanimate 1 

''Good Godl" cried Uncle John, "the man has been frightened to 
death." 

*' No, he*s not dead," said Valentine ; " I feel sure that he's not dead. 
He has fainted— only fainted. Pull up at the first house you come to," 
he continued, addressing the cabman. 

" All right, sir ! there's one close at hand." And in less than three 
minutes tliey were before it. 

Valentine now darted into the house, and having procured a glaas of 
water, applied it to the temples and palms of poor Whitely ; but with- 
out any sensible effect. No pulse was perceptible ; not a muscle moved ; 
some brandy was brought, and when that bad been zealously applied for 
some time, he inspired, as Valentine exclaimed, ^' He's alive !" 



▼ALBNTtNE VOX. 327 

Uncle John now began to breathe with somewhat more fineedom. 
He had been dreadfully apprehenaiTe of Whitely beinff dead ; but when 
he saw the first symptom of reanimation quickly Allowed by other 
signs of returning consciousness, he felt for the moment quite happy. 

** My friends ! said Whitely at lengtli, looking up. ** Am I still 
safe ? God bless you, my dear friends, GK>d bless you !" 

^ Will you go with us into the house, till you revive V enquired 
Valentine. 

^* No, my eood friends, no ; let me remain here, I shall not be out of 
danger, until i reach town. Pray proceed, I am quite well now ; I am 
ind^ quite — quite well now !" 

Uncle John and Valentine accordingly readjusted themselves, and 
having given instructions to the cabman — who drove off as fast as his 
horse could go — they stopped no more, till they reached the house of 
the Widow Smugman. 

The widow was utterly but very naturally astonished, when on 
answering the knock she saw Uncle John and Valentine assisting a 
poor enfeebled creature, who looked like death in a dressing gown, out 
of the cab. She had, however, an extremely high opinion of those 
gentlemen ; and hence, when Uncle John introduced Whitoly as his 
friend, she expressed herself happy to see him. 

** Now then," said Valentine, placing Whitely upon the sofa, ** you 
must banish all your fears ; you are quite secure now." 

Whitely, however, was unable to rally. He tried with all the 
power at his command ; but sank back in a state of exhaustion, in 
which Uncle John attended him, while Valentine was rewarding the 
driver of the cab with a liberality altogether unexpected. 

The dinner was now immediately served up, but of this poor Whitely 
was unable to partake ; he was, however, after a time prevailed upon 
to have some slight refreshment, and was then placed in Uncle John's 
bed, completely overwhelmed with gratitude. 

The attention of Uncle John and Valentine was now turned to the 
course which they, under the circumstances, ought to pursue. The 
escape of Whitely was held to be a grand point gained. ^* We can 
take him with ua," said Valentine, ^' and convict poor Goodman s un- 
natural brother at once." 

*^ So we can," said Uncle John ; ^^ that's quite right. So we can ; 
and we will ! but it can't be done to-night." 

^* No ; but I think that I had better so to-night, and make an ap- 
pointment, if possible, for to-morrow, whitely is uninjured ; he has 
only been alarmed, and will therefore be himself again doubtless in the 
morning. What do you think ? Shall I go V 

^^By all means, by all means. Tell him I wish to have five- 
minutes' conversation with him before I leave town, which is the fact 
you know, of course I I do wish to converse with him before I leave 
town. But I'll leave it to you, my boy ; you know how to manage it. 
Go ; go at once. I'll remain at home, and see after our friend. We 
must have him restored by to-morrow." 



328 LIFK ANII ADVENTURSS OP 

Valenliiie aecordingly started, leayiBg Whit^ in the cai6 of Uncle 
John, who threw himself at cmoe upon the sola, and went soiuidly 4o 
sleep. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

▼ALENTINB BECOMES INITIATED INTO THE MYSTERIES OF TUB ANTI- 
LEGAL-MARRIAGE ASSOCIATION. 

On reaching Walter s residence, Valentine was informed that he and 
Horace were out, but were certain to be at home at nine o'clock or half 
past at the very latest. It was then but just seven ; and as Valentine 
conceived it to be scarcely worth while to return to Uncle John, he 
walked leisurely on, without having any object in view, save that of 
strolling about for two hours. 

He had not, however, proceeded far, when his attention was attracted 
by a flaming placard, on which was inscribed 

THE UNIVERSAL ANTI-LBOAL-MAARLAOE ASSOCIATION I 

NOTICn ! 

A Professor of surpcusing eminence will deliver a Lecture on ths 
Natural^ Social^ and Univenal Community Principle this evening^ 
precisely at Seven. 

'*Tlie natural, social, and universal community principle !*' thought 
Valentine. '* What do they mean ? The univeisal anti-legal-marriaga 
association ! Anti -legal-marriage association I I must look in here." 
And having paid the admission-fee, he was shown into a room in which 
a number of persons, of whom the majority were gaily attired femdes, 
had assembled. 

The professor had not arrived, and therefore Valentine had time to 
look round before the lecture commenced. He thought it strange, veiy 
strange, that the persons whom he saw there should patronise or in any 
way countenance such a thing as an anti-legal-marriage association. 
What the natural, social, and universal community principle might be, 
it is true he could not very clearly comprehend ; but y^mi was meant 
by the term, '^ Anti-legal-marriage/' was so plain, that it could not be- 
misunderstood. And yet, was he to infer from the presence of those 
persons that they were opposed to the institution of marriage ? Impofr> 
sible I They appeared to him to be the very persons by whom marriage 
would be he]d to be one of the greatest sublunary blessings. He changed 
his position, in order to comnumd a full view of the countenance of each. 
The females, he thought, looked particularly wicked ! He really never 
saw eyes rolling about with such extraordinary restlessness before. 
Such smiling, sucn leering, such glancing he beheld ! He was perfectly 



VALENtXNE VOX. 52^ 

jni^ed. He cotild not understand it ! And 3ret they seemed to under- 
stand each other very well I Had any thing like a mutnal dead 
set been made ; had one pair of eyes been brought to bear upon another, 
with the view of being employed with reciprocal firmness — the object 
would not have been quite so inconc^vable ; but as it was, as they 
wandered about with such peculifur inconstancy, as'if the design of their 
owners had been to inspire the souls of all at whom they glanced with 
affection, Valentine could not tell really what to make of it, although 
he did think it just possible, that tliey had assembled for the purpose of 
quizzing the professor. 

The bare possibility of this being their object, was, however, repu- 
diated on the entrance of that gentleman, for he was cheered, loudly 
cheered, and with an enthusiasm which forbade the idea of its being 
ironical. No, it was plain that they were perfectly sincere, and there- 
fore Valentine became more than ever impatient for an explanation of 
this natural, social and universal principle, of which it was dear they 
were deeply enamoured. 

^' My friends," said the professor, after proving to the apparent satis^- 
faction of the ladies that he knew as well how to use his eyes as the 
best. ^' My friends ! The last lecture I had the pleasure to deliver to 
the members of this peculiarly wide spreading association, had reference 
to the assumed Free Agency of Man, and as I proved to demonstration 
that man is not a free agent, consequently not a responsible agent, and 
therefore no agent at all, I propose now to show that human laws in 
opposition to the laws of nature ought not to be upheld [^loud cheers,'] 
My friends ! It is on all hands admitted that nature is perfection, yet 
the state of society in which we n